El Sewedy Data Centers, a subsidiary of Egypt-based ElSewedy Capital, has signed a $2.1 billion memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Gulf Data Hub to revamp and develop Africa’s largest data hub in Egypt.
The complex is set to include three data centers spread out in the North-African country, housing 192 megawatts of repository space, and 300 megawatts in terms of the total power load.
“The project shall position our nation as a data storage and transfer hub, linking the Western and the Eastern countries with Africa, while leveraging natural and human resources, like available energy sources, equipped lands, and highly trained labor,” said Non-Executive Chairman of El Sewedy Data Centers, Ahmed El Sewedy in a statement.
The partnership with Gulf Data Hub comes within El Sewedy’s strategic plan of “providing integrated projects and reliable energy solutions distinguished with efficient, eco-friendly and sustainable features,” he added.
The data centers, which will be linked to similar centers globally and more specifically in Saudi Arabia and the UAE, are built with respect to sustainable guidelines aimed to be licensed by the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED). LEED is a system that uses a rating system for green buildings.
The signing was witnessed by Egypt’s Ministry of Planning and Economic Development and the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology.
Data hub surge
As of January 2021, the number of data centers has increased to 8000 worldwide, most of which are located in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, the Netherlands, and China, according to a report by the United States International Trade Commission (USITC) published in May 2021.
Data centers and hubs are interconnected systems of networks that work toward processing, storing, and disseminating data.
In Africa, there are over nine data centers as of 2021, at the helm of which stand Egypt, South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria and Ethiopia, according to GlobeNewswire in a January 2022 report. The burgeoning industry has already attracted investors, with a growing demand placed on IT infrastructure within the data center sector in the continent.
Between 2019 to 2025, the “market by revenue” is predicted to have a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of about 12%. Egypt is one of the countries leading in the transition to the digital economy, with a recorded increase in cloud services. Currently, Egypt counts about 13 collocation data centers in the country.
Head of the Future of Data Center Summit (FDC), Amr Farouk told Enterprise that investment in the country’s data center market could potentially amount to $1 billion.
The joint project for Africa’s largest data center hub is anticipated to incite interest from investors including international companies.