… Target Chunk of $3bn Africa Data Center Market By 2025
With the projection that the African data center market will reach a $3 billion mark by 2025, stakeholders that gathered for the 2021 Nigeria Information Technology Reporters’ Association (NITRA)Technology Forum in Lagos have agreed that Nigeria should be in a position to draw from the market by localising its data.
The stakeholders, who also advocated for Nigerians to strive to become the hub for Internet content in Africa insist that local hosting of data will reduce capital flight.
With four certified Tier 3 constructed facilities in Nigeria and more on the way, the president, Institute of Software Providers of Nigeria (ISPON), Mr. Chinenye Mba-Uzoukwu said the Africa data centre market is already growing at a compound average growth rate (CAGR) of over 12%.
Mba-Uzoukwu said there are 11 data centres in Nigeria and the largest are expanding their capacity constantly in anticipation of a growing demand but currently the utilisation of capacity probably sits at below 30%.
He noted that Galaxy Backbone which is the only Uptime Institute Certified Tier 3 Data Centre in the public sector is currently running at 38% capacity utilisation of its 2.5MW capacity.
Mba-Uzoukwu insists that digital transformation, especially in the public sector, is a critical pre-requisite for achieving the proposed achievement of 30% growth in local Cloud hosting by 2024.
“You cannot underestimate the importance of Local Cloud which must be the initial point of access for a broad-based digital adoption and transformation strategy in a rising tide that lifts all,” he said.
In his submission, the Chief Executive Officer, IXPN, and the Chairman of the event, Mr. Muhammed Rudman noted that local hosting will reduce the huge capital flight and this reduction will also lead to higher quality of service as local hosting enables websites run about three times faster than those hosting overseas because of ultralow latency.
He further stated that local cloud hosting will also strengthen the cyber security of the country, as the passing of data between local networks would be within the national borders, adding that it will ensure business continuity as Nigeria is dependent on submarine cables, which are prone to damages, when hosting internationally.
“Furthermore, hosting of content locally will help build and develop technical skills to manage data centres in the country. This, also, inadvertently, means the creation of more jobs for Nigerians and the growth of the technology and hosting industry in the nation.
“It is imperative to host data locally to avoid the complexity of international laws. Once important information is being hosted outside the country, the laws of the land no longer apply. Rather, the information and client data hosted abroad are now under the data privacy laws of the country where the data is being hosted. With local hosting, organisations and individuals are guaranteed of needed support at the right time, as barriers like time difference and language are no longer an issue,” he maintained.
Mr. Rudman said the Nigerian government realization of the cloud localization brought about the National Cloud Computing Policy by NITDA in 2019, which is aimed at promoting the migration of National Data to local cloud with a goal of achieving 30% by the end of 2024.
In his speech which was read by the Head of South West Zonal Office, (NITDA), Mrs Chioma Okee-Aguguo, the Director General of NITDA, Mallam Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi noted that the role of the Government is to enable the environment for private and corporate bodies to invest in local hosting services, the building of more data centres. While applauding NITRA’s initiative at organising the Forum, he observed that “there has been a considerable increase in the number of cloud services providers in Nigeria. The big names are here, I don’t want to mention names of companies so that I would not be accused of bias as a regulator.”
Speaking at the Forum, Chief Executive Officer of Vintage Confluence LLC, Mr. Precious Aire acknowledged that the issue of local hosting cannot no longer be a muted conversation, as the need for technology-driven innovations has almost become the live wire of businesses in the global village.
Mr. Aire, who was represented by the Principal Consultant, Kingdom Hreitage Communications, Mr. Patrick Aigbokhan, said the hosting of data within the country will further empower companies like Vintage Confluence that operate Cryptocurrency services even outside the shores of country.
He noted that 30% local Cloud hosting is achievable by 2024, and called on companies to look inwards as it guarantees security and speed of access.