London, 12th July 2023 – Chris Wood, Group CEO of WIOCC Group, and TEXAF CFO Christophe Evers, yesterday (11th) signed a landmark shareholder agreement for the operation of OADC Kinshasa, which will be the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)’s first open-access, Tier-III certified (by the Uptime Institute), carrier-neutral data centre and is expected to go live in November 2023.
Chris Wood, Group CEO of WIOCC Group, whose subsidiary Open Access Data Centres (OADC), the fastest-growing data centre company in Africa, will operate the TEXAF-backed data centre, commented: “OADC Kinshasa will boost the DRC’s economy by delivering vibrant digital ecosystems and converged open digital infrastructure (CODI) services, including tailored colocation and reliable connectivity, which can be used by content providers, cloud operators, telcos and Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to provide a multitude of digital products and services to business and domestic customers.”
Christophe Evers, CFO of TEXAF, declared: “We are proud to be partnering with OADC in the creation of another essential building block of the digital ecosystem here in the DRC. This fully validates our strategy of attracting international industry leaders such as OADC to the country and specifically into our new SILIKIN VILLAGE digital hub. It is also an affirmation of our standing and reputation in the country.”
With a population of more than 16 million people, Kinshasa is at the epicentre of demand for digital connectivity services within the DRC. Located within TEXAF’s Silikin Village, one of the largest digital hubs in Central Africa, the 2MW-capable OADC Kinshasa is an important, strategic element of digital infrastructure for the DRC, which the World Bank reports as being one of the most under-developed digital economies in Africa. It will also create rich and vibrant digital ecosystems, and provide content distribution networks and cloud content providers with access to a quality peering location in the country.
OADC Kinshasa will underpin and expedite further development of the country’s ICT capabilities, delivering colocation and other value-added data centre services that support the cloud infrastructure needs of a wide range of businesses and enterprises, enabling them to improve efficiency, expedite digitisation initiatives and more effectively service business and customer needs. The open, carrier neutral facility will create the first vibrant and comprehensive interconnection and peering ecosystem in the country involving multiple carriers, ISPs, content providers and Internet Exchanges; a first in the DRC, transforming the digital infrastructure ecosystem.
Mohammed Bouhelal, Managing Director of Open Access Data Centres DRC, reports, “There has already been strong uptake from telcos looking to colocate in our facility, while the banking sector is leading the way in adopting OADC solutions. It is also attracting large international content providers to the DRC.”
OADC Kinshasa is a strategic element within OADC CEO Dr Ayotunde Coker’s innovative core-to-edge strategy, which is based on rapid deployment of appropriately scaled data centres into key business hubs, delivering transformational hosting/colocation services to cloud operators, content providers, telcos, ISPs and major enterprises across Africa. Configured with an initial 400 square metres of IT white space, it will grow to 1000m of white space and will ultimately accommodate more than 550 racks.
The facility embodies carrier-neutral principles, maximising interconnection opportunities for all clients. Increased competition and improved operator cost-efficiencies will contribute to the expected decrease in cost of internet connectivity for the Congolese people and companies, and will be a major enabler for the emergence and enhancement of the DRC’s digital ecosystem.
Unique converged open digital infrastructure (CODI) offering
Converged open digital infrastructure – the provision of carrier-neutral, open access data centre facilities connected to resilient, hyperscale, open-access, subsea and terrestrial networks – supplemented by a rich, vibrant digital ecosystem, will help boost the DRC’s economy and expedite digital transformation in the country.
It will not only offer businesses a viable alternative to self-build and self-manage data centre facilities, with all the dedicated resource, expertise, management time and cost benefits that come with that, but also support the cloud infrastructure needs of a wide range of businesses and enterprises, enabling them to improve efficiency, expedite digitisation initiatives and more effectively service business and customer needs. Carriers too will benefit, because OADC Kinshasa offers them connectivity revenue opportunities and the opportunity to extend their service portfolios, by including a managed colocation service capability.
About TEXAF – www.texaf.be
Established in 1925, TEXAF is the only listed company with all its activities in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Currently, these are concentrated on real estate and quarrying, although TEXAF is beginning to develop a new branch of activity in the digital field and aims to become a major player in this sector.
This listing on the stock exchange and the resulting obligations of good governance and transparency constitutes a major asset for the group’s development and for the promotion of the formal sector in the DRC.
Verdant Capital – www.verdant-cap.com
Verdant Capital advised OADC and the WIOCC Group on the strategic transaction with TEXAF. Verdant Capital is a leading investment bank and investment manager operating on a Pan-African basis and specialising in private capital markets. It boasts offices in Johannesburg, Ebene, Accra, Harare, Kinshasa, and Frankfurt.