Econet begins construction of $100m data centre in Lagos

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Strive Masiyiwa, founder and chairman of Econet Wireless Global Ltd., speaks during the annual Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills , California, U.S., on Monday, May 2, 2016. The conference gathers attendees to explore solutions to today's most pressing challenges in financial markets, industry sectors, health, government and education. Photographer: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Founder, Econet and owner of Liquid Telecom, Strive Masiyiwa, says work has commenced on a new data centre facility in Lagos valued at $100m.

Masiyiwa said the data centre, which would be the largest facility outside South Africa, had been named Africa Data Centre, Atlantic and would be built on five acres of land.

While displaying the architectural design of the data centre made by Trevor Juul in a Facebook post, he said the facility would be powered by solar energy and natural gas.

As part of the investment in Nigeria, he said Liquid’ Undersea cables company would land a new capacity cable into Nigeria next year in partnership with Google.

This, according to him, will make data costs much cheaper and faster.

He said, “This week marked the start of the of our first major data centre facility in Lagos, Nigeria. Named the ADC Atlantic, this is a US$100m investment in the economy. In the Data Centre world, this will be the largest facility outside South Africa.

“This cable which is in partnership with will also extend all the way to Cape Town, South Africa. We are also going to start laying new fibres in major cities from next year,” he said.

He added, “This is our largest investment in Nigeria since the mobile industry started.

Once again, I am kicking off a new revolution in the next phase of technology. What is important is not the data centre but the technologies will be unleashed in Nigeria because of this infrastructure. That’ the big deal here!”

Liquid Telecom had raised $307m through a rights issue to fund a rapid expansion of its data centre business across Africa.

The rights issue included an additional $40m from UK development finance institution, CDC Group Plc.

Masiyiwa first invested in mobile telecom industry in 2001, after MTN, before selling its shares to Celtel and then Bharti Airtel.