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Airtel Africa to build second data center in Kenya

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Pan-African operator Airtel Africa has announced that Nxtra, its sister company focusing on data centers, will build the operator's second data center, which is to be located in Nairobi, Kenya.

The news follows the telco's plans for a data center in Lagos, Nigeria, which will comprise 34 megawatts (MW) of computing power, with construction set to begin shortly.

Airtel Africa's CEO Segun Ogunsanya said the Nairobi facility will have 7MW and service both telecom and other sectors, but didn't share exact details, including precise timelines.

After more than a decade at Airtel Africa, Ogunsanya is set to retire this year, leaving Airtel's director of transformation, Sunil Taldar, to take over the top job at the start of July.

"We are going to break ground in Nigeria in the next couple of weeks and the one in Kenya will follow soon," Ogunsanya explained.

Ogunsanya said construction takes about two years, so the data centers will probably be operational sometime in mid-2026.

The Kenyan data center follows Airtel's plans for a 36MW data center in Nigeria.   (Source: Image by benzoix on Freepik)
The Kenyan data center follows Airtel's plans for a 36MW data center in Nigeria.
(Source: Image by benzoix on Freepik)

The Lagos facility is the first of Nxtra's five planned hyperscale data centers on the African continent.

Furthermore, the company said after the Nairobi data center, it intends to develop smaller sites at its mobile cable landing stations in Tanzania, DRC Congo, and Gabon.

Data centers all over Africa

The announcement of the Kenya data center comes at a time when many companies are building data centers on the continent.

In November 2023, Raxio Data Centres announced the official launch of its newest facility in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Raxio already operates in Ethiopia, but this new Tier III certified facility offers secure colocation space for up to 800 racks delivering up to 3MW of IT power.

Raxio's announcement came after West African connectivity and data center solutions provider, MainOne, launched an expanded open access, carrier-neutral data center in Côte d'Ivoire, also in November 2023.

Follow Connecting Africa on our new X account @connect__africa to get the latest telecoms and tech news across Africa.

Liquid Intelligent Technologies, meanwhile, teamed up with a provider of carrier-neutral data center services, Wingu.Africa, to launch a second Azure hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) stack in Tanzania in October 2023.

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*Top image is of Airtel Africa CEO Segun Ogunsanya. (Source: Airtel Africa)

— Matshepo Sehloho, Associate Editor, Connecting Africa

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