The digital economy is all about data; Africa will need to develop its own data centre network to ensure data sovereignty, bandwidth and latency time, and bring back the IT load across the continent.

As the data centre industry is one of the pillars of the African economic development, Schneider Electric together with several global and regional data centre industry leaders has formed the Africa Data Centre Association (ADCA).

ADCA will operate as a non-profit, Pan-African professional association, fostering the development of the industry in Africa and creating a strong industry body on the continent, and internationally.

There is a huge growth in demand for energy and connectivity – in the Middle East and Africa alone it will double by 2040 – 10 years faster than the rest of the world.

Increased smartphone penetration, the digital services explosion, together with Data Sovereignty law, bandwidth and latency times, are triggering a bright future for the data centre and colocation business in Africa.

In setting up this association, Schneider Electric is at the forefront, taking its responsibility as the global leader of data centre market, and developing its customer intimacy with African colocation companies.

The ADCA, in the presence of its founding members, Groupement Orange Services, ITA, NSIA Technologies, MTN, PAIX Data Centres, Rack Centre, Poulina DataXion and Schneider Electric will officially be launched at the Datacloud Africa Leadership Summit that will take place in Marrakech -  Morocco, September 28th, 2018.

“Africa’s data centres confront a series of challenges not least in deploying and powering new facilities,” commented Paul-François Cattier, Vice President Economic Development Middle East and Africa at Schneider Electric.

“The new association to be launched during Datacloud Africa Leadership Summit will provide the first non-profit organisational body for African operators, a valuable resource supporting industry best practices, an outstanding networking platform for the exchange of information and ideas,” said Cattier.

Africa Data Centre Association objectives

This new trade association will be funded by membership subscription and by the African Development Bank sponsorship. It will address the entire data centre market segment.

The association goals include, but are not limited to:

  • Create a professional and sustainable regional association, which provides a collective voice for the industry with respect to regulation and policy issues that may affect it, or that could boost it;
  • Provide a platform for members to contribute to the establishment of best practices, education, industry leadership and technical standards to which data centre industry adheres to;
  • Promote Colocation Industry and mindset in Africa;
  • Offer guidance to support the development of the data centres and the digital economy;
  • Provide an African voice in the forward development of data centres internationally; and
  • Organise structured interactions with African governments on regulation and policies.

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The Datacloud Africa Leadership Summit

“The association is a very exciting development in the continuing growth of data centre businesses in Africa,” commented Wouter van Hulten, CEO and founder of PAIX Data Centres.

“The formation of the ADCA is an important step for an industry that plays an important role in the digital transformation of Africa’s economy, enabling economic expansion. We are thrilled to be contributing to the growth of computing and networking on the continent, building and operating hubs at the heart of Africa’s digital economy with our local teams complemented by our European experts,” stated van Hulten.

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“We warmly welcome new and prospective members of the Association to Datacloud Africa,” said Philip Low, chairman of BroadGroup, the organisers and producers of the Datacloud Africa Leadership Summit.

“The Summit is taking place at an important moment in the evolution of the data centre industry in Africa, and we are delighted to host the new Association at the event.”

Membership of the association will be open to both operating companies in Africa, as well as those engaged in the data centre sector internationally.