Africa has the potential to be the largest opportunity for data center investment in the next few years. Not only is it the fastest-growing continent in terms of gross domestic product (GDP) and population, it’s also a region experiencing rapid digital transformation.
However, the digital transformation taking place in the region isn’t quite like the rest of the world. The African environment is diverse, with nations’ economies developing at varying rates. Also, Africa is starting its digital transformation journey at a different point to other continents. Instead of starting from scratch, it’s starting with the tools and technology of today. Forget playing catch-up; Africa has the potential to overtake the rest of the world, and we want to help enable this growth through our investment in Africa’s underlying digital infrastructure.
We’ve committed to invest half a billion dollars in Africa's technology infrastructure over the next decade and have already progressed a series of acquisitions and expansions to accelerate our pan-African expansion strategy. These include the acquisition of a majority interest in Teraco, the leading carrier-neutral data center and interconnection services provider in South Africa, in August last year, in addition to the acquisition of Medallion Communications in Nigeria and iColo in Kenya and Mozambique.
In each of these locations, our purpose is to develop our campuses into meeting places for companies, technology, and data to come together, ultimately bolstering our ecosystem of dynamically connected data communities around the globe. A great example of this is our data center campus in Johannesburg, South Africa, which houses Microsoft ExpressRoute, AWS Direct Connect, and Oracle FastConnect cloud onramps, NAPAfrica – the largest African internet exchange (IX) – and hundreds of carriers and internet service providers (ISPs).
As a result, we are delighted to see that Digital Realty has taken the number one spot on Cloudscene’s H2 2022 Leaderboard for connectivity in Africa; something we’re extremely proud of.
Cloudscene – the leading market intelligence provider and independent global marketplace for network, cloud and colocation services – publishes its leaderboard bi-annually, ranking data center operators against several criteria including the presence of cloud onramps, network fabrics and carriers within facilities. For the first time, Africa has been given its own category on the leaderboard, which recognizes the growing maturity of the continent.
In addition to the number one spot in Africa, Digital Realty has retained strong placements in other regions, from North America through to Europe, which demonstrates the continued work we’re putting in to bolstering our connectivity proposition globally.
To illustrate, in December last year, Oracle announced the deployment of an Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) FastConnect point of presence in our Chicago, Illinois data center. The deployment – which brings the total number of FastConnect points of presence we host globally to nine – offers our customers the possibility to colocate and connect hybrid workloads at low-latency to the newly launched Oracle Cloud US Central region. As a leading Oracle data center partner across six continents, we provide OCI and multi-cloud access from a growing number of our highly connected facilities through our global data center platform PlatformDIGITAL®, making it easy and efficient for our customers to establish secure and performant cloud connectivity.
This connectivity is facilitated by our proprietary interconnection solution and orchestration platform ServiceFabric™, now available at almost 100 of our sites worldwide. With ServiceFabric™, we’re supporting our customers as they continue to adopt a hybrid IT architecture, enabling them to connect to anyone, anywhere, at any time.
In 2023, we’re focused on growing our interconnectivity proposition and strengthening our position as the meeting place where companies and data come together. A place where businesses, partners, and creators can go faster and further, invent the unseen, and expand across the globe.