African data centers, essential infrastructures to ensure the digital sovereignty of the continent, are still too few in number. Senegal, Morocco, DRC, Ivory Coast… Which countries are doing well? Those who are the furthest behind? State of play in infographics.
What would happen if Ireland or the Netherlands, two countries that host the data of many African countries, decided one day to cut off access to their data centers? Several million Africans, and hundreds of thousands of businesses, would lose their valuable data overnight. If it seems extreme, this hypothesis is not impossible, as the governments of the continent, for lack of investment or political will, have fallen behind in the deployment of their digital infrastructures.
In the age of the “cloud” and of all-out digitization, the location of the infrastructure that stores and processes millions of gigabytes of data is a strategic issue. These storage centers – or data centers – concentrate digital information produced by private or public organizations. Sometimes stored internally on one or two servers (large hard drives with a storage capacity of several gigabytes), they can also be relocated in a data center of several hundred square meters, ultra-secure and containing thousands of servers.
By hosting their data outside their borders, African countries cede part of their political, economic and digital sovereignty. Fortunately, the trend of repatriation of this information seems to be confirmed, as the data center sector grows on the continent and international players step up investments in favor of better connectivity in Africa.
Over the past three years, several hundred million dollars have been raised by actors such as Africa Data Centers, Raxio Group, Rack Center or MainOne, groups with African or foreign capital but devoted solely to the continent. Objective: to support their construction projects out of nothing infrastructure or the takeover of existing infrastructure.
If it seems to be accelerating in Morocco, Senegal, Cameroon, Ivory Coast and even in the DRC, this development is nevertheless not homogeneous. Which are the most advanced countries? Those who are the furthest behind? How much do African data centers weigh? And who owns them? All the answers in infographics.