Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Lagos tops investment destination list in Africa, attracts $1b commitment


By Adeyemi Adepetun

Lagos. Photo/GlobalTourismAcademy

Lagos State has emerged as the top destination in Africa for digital infrastructure investment.

This was revealed during a panel hosted by Digital Infra Africa, where industry experts deliberated on the impacts of growing investments in data centres on the continent.

The session, which was moderated by Senior Vice President, Middle East, Africa and Greater India, Uptime Institute, Mustapha Louni, had MainOne CEO, Funke Opeke, joined by CEO, Raxio Group, Robert Mullins; CEO, Teraco, Jan Hnizdo and Chief Marketing Officer and VP, International Business Development, WIOCC, Mike Last.

These market leaders noted the spate of acquisitions and new entrants in the past six months including Equinix – MainOne’s new parent company, Digital Realty, Cassava Technologies and WIOCC.

They said growth in investments in the data centre infrastructure on the continent has grown exponentially, adding that such investments continue to be driven by the growth of broadband access and data consumption across the continent’s large economies, of which Nigeria is the largest.

Opeke stated: “When you look at the connected population and the growth potential of the numbers that remain unconnected, we see a large opportunity for growth in data consumption levels, and this is attracting global market players. MainOne is the market leader in Lagos already and we will continue to make investments with our new parent company Equinix to remain at the forefront of the increasing digitalisation happening on the continent.”

These views are in line with recently published statistics on investments flowing into the tech sector on the continent. Lagos State government has actively championed these initiatives and investments in technology by creating an enabling environment for businesses to flourish, and also by providing active support to investors in the state through its numerous programs and initiatives.

The effort is bearing fruit, as in the last one month, Lagos has attracted over $1 billion worth of committed investment from technology giants like Microsoft, which opened its new African Development Centre in the State, Google, which last week launched its state-of-the-art submarine Internet cable in Lagos and Equinix, which recently completed its acquisition of MainOne with a $320 million deal.

To put the level of investment that Lagos would attract in the next few years into context, at the recent launch of MainOne’s MDXi Lekki II Data Center, VP Growth and Emerging Markets at Equinix, Judith Gardiner, stated that, “Amsterdam as a key hub, with a population of one million people, has nine Equinix Data Centers with over 106MW capacity. Lagos, with a population of over 20 million, has the potential to far exceed this footprint. We are committed to bringing our capital, expertise, knowledge and customers to accelerate the digital age in Nigeria.”

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