September 8, 2020

Actis-backed Rack Centre announces $100m expansion to create West Africa’s Largest Data Centre

Dolapo Omidire

Rack Centre has announced a $100m expansion in a bid to create West Africa’s largest data centre. The Actis-backed company outlined a programme that will increase capacity to a total net lettable white space of 6,000sqm and allow for 13MW of IT power capacity in its Lagos campus. This will be in addition to the current expansion already underway to double existing capacity to 1.5MW and 1,200sqm of white space in early 2021.

Actis-backed Rack Centre announces $100m expansion to create West Africa's Largest Data Centre. Image Source: Rack Centre.
Actis-backed Rack Centre announces $100m expansion to create West Africa’s Largest Data Centre. Image Source: Rack Centre.

10 Key Stats

  • Lagos Operations Commenced: 2013.
  • Key Milestone: They became first on the Continent to achieve Uptime Institute Tier III Certification of Constructed Facility (TCCF) in April 2017.
  • Client List: Over 80 blue-chip international, multi-national, and local clients. 
  • Carriers: Over 35 including Internet Service Providers and Mobile Network Operators present.
  • Current Installed IT Power Capacity: 750KW in Lagos Facility.
  • IT Power Capacity after initial expansion completes in 2021: 1.5MW in Lagos Facility.
  • IT Power Capacity after overall expansion: 13MW in Lagos Facility.
  • Total net lettable white space after initial expansion completes in 2021: 1,200sqm.
  • Total net lettable white space after expansion: 6,000sqm.
  • Actis Investment: March 2020.  

According to Rack Centre, the expansion will bring unprecedented carrier-neutral scale to West Africa and is in response to increasing demand for data centre space from cloud uptake, telecommunication investment, and outsourcing of IT facilities by enterprises in the region.

In March 2020, Actis announced an investment in Rack Centre, taking a controlling stake in the business alongside Jagal.  The funding for this expansion will come from a $250m pan-African data centre platform established by Actis and Convergence Partners, a leading ICT infrastructure investor in Africa. In addition to Rack Centre, the platform is also actively developing additional buy and build opportunities across Africa, to establish a network of carrier neutral data centres aimed at catering to carrier, cloud and hyperscale customers.  

Dr. Ayotunde Coker, Managing Director of Rack Centre said: 

“We are proud of the quality and scale bar we have set in the region and are scaling to be the de-facto digital data hub for West Africa.”

Andile Ngcaba, Chairman of Convergence Partners adds that:

“Africa is at the start of a critical time in its development, as the 4th industrial revolution offers the chance to leapfrog many of Africa’s challenges and harness the immense potential of its people.” 

Other players in the space include: 

MainOne, owners of MainData Nigeria Limited (MDXi)

  • Existing data centre in Lekki, Lagos, and construction commenced on a data centre in Sagamu, Ogun State in November 2017.
  • Held groundbreaking ceremony for construction of MDXi Ghana Data Center project in Appolonia City during May 2020 and plans to complete construction during Q1:2020. 
  • Another centre is in the pipeline for Cote d’Ivoire.

21st Century

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