27 September 2019 / Uganda news
First Brick Holdings to help accelerate Ethiopia’s digital economy
First Brick Holdings, a US-based investment company, has today announced at the Datacloud Africa Leadership Summit in Accra that it is establishing and investing in ‘Raxio Ethiopia’, which will build and operate the first state-of-the-art, privately owned data centre in Ethiopia.
In line with First Brick’s first data centre facility in Uganda, Raxio Uganda, the new data centre will be constructed and operated as a Tier III standard facility, serving the large demand for high-quality co-location data centre services in Ethiopia.
The announcement comes as the telecoms sector in Ethiopia becomes increasingly liberalised, with recent regulatory changes designed to enable broader technology access and encourage the development of technology infrastructure. This reflects the regional trend of increased demand for high-quality environments for local storage, business-critical systems and data hosting solutions, such as local cloud services, as well as the need for external data recovery sites for business continuity.
The key target industries for Raxio Ethiopia will be financial services, cloud service providers, IT companies, media companies, local and regional enterprises, and content delivery networks. As the telecom sector opens up, new carriers and internet service providers will join to create a new hub of connectivity in the country.
The data centre will meet the uptime, redundancy and maintainability requirements established under the Tier III standard. The facility will also adhere to the principle of neutrality, both for carriers and ISPs as new players begin to enter the Ethiopian market, and for cloud service providers, that will be able to operate freely from within the data centre.
Raxio Ethiopia will offer data centre colocation services where customers can house their computing, networking, storage and critical IT infrastructure in an optimally operated and secure environment. By co-locating in Raxio’s facility, customers will benefit from a “shared infrastructure” model, and substantially reduce their operational and capital costs while improving application performance and flexibility. Raxio will also supplement its core colocation offering with several additional services, including cross-connection and remote hands.
Raxio Ethiopia is the second major investment First Brick Holdings is making in data centres across Eastern and Southern Africa, following the development of Uganda’s first state-of-the-art Tier III, carrier-neutral data centre (Raxio Uganda) which is due for completion in February 2020. First Brick Holdings plans to complete more data centre investments in the region within the next four years, with five Tier III data centres due to be live by 2022.
Robert Mullins, Executive Director at First Brick Holdings, said: “Recent ICT and regulatory trends in Ethiopia mark it out as an ideal location for high-quality co-location data centre services. The government has embarked on a process that will lead to a broader liberalisation of the telecom sector where new operators will be allowed to enter the market, and there is also a large opportunity for the numerous local, regional and international cloud services providers seek adequate facilities in-country from where they can provide their services.
“We believe Raxio Ethiopia will have a transformational effect on the Ethiopian digital economy by providing a critical and missing part of digital infrastructure in the country. The state-of-the-art facility will enable Ethiopian companies to operate more effectively locally, to compete in a regional and global context and will provide an environment where new companies focused on the digital economy can thrive. It will have significant knock-on effects, creating opportunities for technology-savvy employment and broader technological exchange.”
Robert Mullins is participating in a panel at the Datacloud Africa Leadership Summit in Ghana on 26th September, in which he will be discussing key trends for data centre and communications infrastructure investment for Africa.
Ethiopia ICT Sector Facts:
- The number of mobile subscribers has grown from 17.2 million in 2011/2012 to 40.2 million in 2017/2018 showing a CAGR of 13% per annum (Ethio Telecom / NBE Annual Report)
- The number of data and internet subscribers has grown from a mere 0.8 million in 2011/2012 to 17.9 million in 2017/2018 registering a CAGR of 87% for the period (Ethio Telecom / NBE Annual Report)
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About First Brick Holdings Inc
First Brick Holdings Inc is a portfolio company of US-based investment firm, Roha Group Inc which focuses on responsibly investing in and building profitable businesses across Africa. First Brick Holdings is East and Southern Africa’s premier platform of carrier neutral, colocation, Tier III data centres. Its first data centre investment – Raxio Data Centre Ltd in Uganda – is currently under development and scheduled to commercially launch in early 2020. Investment plans are in place to establish a network of data centres across the East and Southern Africa region by 2022. For further information, please visit: www.firstbrick.io
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