Ethiopia approaches digital milestone with first private data centre

African data centre developer Raxio Group is to build Ethiopia’s first private data centre in Addis Ababa in response to the country’s fast-growing internet use.

Raxio Ethiopia will build the server farm on the Ethio ICT Park, an industrial estate for digital industries completed five years ago.

It has completed its acquisition of the land and plans to finish work on the 1.5MW centre in the third quarter of next year.  

The aim is to serve Ethiopia’s growing use of data as mobile phone ownership and internet use expands in line with the country’s rapid economic growth.

At present, only 12 million people own smart phones in the country – 11% of the population – and there are 21 million internet users. However, the use of mobile phones is increasing at a rate of around 18% a year.

Robert Mullins, president of Raxio, said: "Raxio Ethiopia will provide a critical and missing part of the nation’s digital infrastructure at an exciting and fast-evolving time in the broader telecoms sector in the country.

"We are pleased to be moving forward with developing Ethiopia’s first privately owned data centre and to have collaborated closely with the Ethiopian Investment Commission, the Industrial Parks Development Corporation and the ICT Park in reaching this milestone."

The centre will be sited on one of Ethiopia’s principal fibre-optic cable routes, and will accommodate around 400 racks using 1.5MW of power. This is expected to double in size as demand increases.

Raxio was set up in 2018 by US greenfield investment company Roha, which specialises in African industrial ventures.

Earlier this year it completed its first server farm at the Namanve Industrial Park in Kampala, Uganda. Twelve others are being planned, with the first set to be developed in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Mozambique.

Image: Use of mobile phones in Ethiopia is increasing at a rate of 18% a year (Dreamstime)

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