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‘An Opportunity to Leapfrog the World’ an article by Dr. Ayotunde Coker

This is a dynamic period for business in Africa, with transformation driving rapid expansion of the continent’s digital infrastructure. I join Open Access Data Centres as the organisation is set to play a major role in establishing and developing the pan-African digital infrastructure that will underpin this expansion.

In leading the drive to transform Africa’s digital capabilities, we will be developing vibrant, interconnected ecosystems based on the deployment of world-class, open-access digital infrastructure at strategic business and connectivity hubs throughout the continent. We’ll be supporting cloud operators, content providers, the wholesale community and major enterprises in extending their reach and operations across Africa in a way that has not been possible before. For the first time, Africa has the opportunity to leapfrog the world, maximise its potential and deliver economic growth – providing a digital infrastructure that will attract further inward investment, as well as enabling local organisations to take full advantage of pan-African and global opportunities.

We are offering our clients a comprehensive and unique core to edge architecture across Africa. Work is well underway on equipping world-class, carrier-neutral, Tier III, hyperscale specification data centres at core locations. These are essentially the mega edge linking other global data centres into key interconnection and scale points in Africa, particularly in Nigeria and South Africa. They will be extended through a network of mid-size, typically 200-rack data centres in key metros, driving flexibility further into the edge.

With the growth of 5G and the demand we anticipate for delivery and processing of data closer to the point of origin or consumption, we are implementing a network of ‘edge’ data centres, with over 20 already operational in South Africa and more in planning and deployment. The same architecture will emerge in Nigeria and we will rapidly expand it to other countries on the continent.

We are also in the unique position of hosting multiple landing stations for the 2Africa and Equiano cables at various locations on Africa’s Atlantic and Pacific coastlines; cables which will play an enormous role in developing the economic prosperity of the regions in which they are landing.

Aside from developing OADC’s transformative infrastructure, I am also committed to setting the highest standards for efficient operational excellence and client intimacy on a pan-African scale. We will set new standards for integrated, interconnected infrastructure service delivery to global and African organisations. Anyone partnering with OADC will be assured of a tailored, flexible service that is underpinned by the values held by the whole team: Trust, Delivery Excellence and Service Excellence.

I am excited by the opportunities that lay ahead, not only for OADC, but also for the whole of Africa. We are moving at speed to implement the most extensive deployment ever in Africa of open-access data centres. Whilst there is much to do and challenges to overcome, I am very much looking forward to the journey.