July 16, 2024
Opinion piece:  Hyperscalers – the mindful expansion into Africa
Opinion piece:  Hyperscalers – the mindful expansion into Africa 
Opinion piece:  Hyperscalers – the mindful expansion into Africa 
– By Ayomide Oginni

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Opinion piece:  Hyperscalers – the mindful expansion into Africa 

 
 By Faith Waithaka

 

The marriage of global expertise with local know-how cannot be overstated.  This is particularly true in the case of hyperscaler marketplace in Africa, which has enjoyed some tremendous growth in recent years. 

In South Africa, global cloud service providers (CSPs) like Microsoft, IBM, AWS, Oracle have expanded their cloud data centres which, in turn, has bolstered the hyperscaler market.

According the a report African Data Center Construction Market , it is estimated that African data centres will continue show a CAGR of 10.7% till 2028.

“In the Africa data centre construction market, South Africa is the major contributor to the capacity in the region, with more than 50%, followed by Nigeria, Kenya, and other African countries. Cloud-based services, smart city developments, and fibre connectivity drive continuous regional data canter investments,” notes the report.

Hyperscalers – sustainability leadership

To make a lasting impact on the continent, partnerships between global hyperscale companies and local experts must be forged, bringing together technical expertise and investment capabilities. 

Moreover, these partnerships must keep sustainability in mind, particularly in a time when many countries on the continent, including South Africa, are facing significant energy provision challenges.

Here, hyperscalers can lead the charge, demonstrating their commitment to sustainability by actively collaborating with local renewable energy providers, governments and specialist organisations.

By supporting the development of renewable energy products and solutions, hyperscalers can contribute to greener, more sustainable data centre operations. For example, by deploying large-scale solar installations, hyperscalers are not only proactively management their own power supply but also contributing to countries’ overall renewable energy posture.

 

Standardisation of operations

From a regulatory point of view, the hyperscaler marketplace in countries like South Africa is not as a firmly regulated as their North American and European peers which is dictated by carbon accounting, water usage and zero waste to landfill practices.

Hyperscalers operating in Africa are faced with a delicate balancing act; they must process and store massive amounts of data whilst still delivering it rapidly and consistently whilst keeping energy efficiency and sustainability in mind.

Their responsibilities are twofold; as multinationals they must meet the abovementioned regulatory requirements whilst also establishing energy efficient practices and technologies (in the countries they operate in) which will hopefully become commonplace.

The good news is that hyperscalers have the potential to truly change the data centre industry into one that leads by example. lives. By implementing best practices, adhering to ISO standards, and staying at the forefront of technology, hyperscalers can enhance operational efficiencies, and set industry benchmark for a sustainable African data centre industry.
 
 Faith Waithaka is the Cloud and Service Provider Segment Sales Lead: Anglophone Africa at Schneider Electric and Kevin Kent, Founder & CEO of Critical Facilities Efficiency Solutions

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