[Africa Tech Review] Duncan Mochama: Kenya and Nigeria fastest growing data center markets in Africa
Africa is poised for a data centre boom as internet penetration rates rise and the continent begins to play catch-up with other regions. Kenya and Nigeria have been described as some of the top markets to watch out for.
A report by Research and Markets released this week revealed that Nigeria's “s data center market will grow at a Compound annual growth rate, CAGR, of 17% during 2021-2026. Kenya's data center market on the other hand is set to grow at a CAGR of 12.36% during 2021-2026. This is according to the "Kenya Data Center - Investment Analysis & Growth Opportunities 2021-2026" report released this week. Kenya is one of Africa's primary data center hubs and is considered the gateway to the East African region.
This week, social media giant Facebook also rolled out Marketplace to 37 countries and territories in Sub-Saharan Africa. The marketplace is a convenient destination where people can discover, buy and sell items from others in their local communities, simply by tapping on the Marketplace icon to browse and search for items or filter by distance or category.
Nigerian mobility startup Plentywaka this week announced that it has raised $1.2 million seed round, after successfully ending the Techstars Toronto Accelerator Program in July 2021. The startup also announced it has fully acquired Ghana’s mobility startup Stabus. Zepz, formerly WorldRemit, a digital cross-border payments platform also announced it has raised $292 million in new primary financing. Another African-focused payments startup pawaPay raised a $9m Seed funding led by UK-based investment fund 88mph. Vunani Capital, Kepple Ventures, MSA and Zagadat Capital also participated in the round.
Still, on startups, Egyptian B2B e-commerce startup MaxAB that serves food and grocery retailers acquired WaystoCap, a Morocco-based B2B e-commerce, and distribution platform that connects retailers with suppliers across Africa. Arab Bank launched its fintech-focused corporate accelerator program “AB Accelerator” in Egypt to support fintech startups in the country.
Also in the news this week was MTN. The company announced the appointment of Burak Akinci as Chief Executive Officer of Simfy (ayoba), reporting to the MTN Group Chief Digital and Fintech Officer Serigne Dioum and responsible for the super app ayoba. In Kenya, taxi app Maramoja Transport Board appointed three new members to help fortify the firm’s business strategy in the region.
Despite having to contend with gender disparities, women entrepreneurs in South Africa are bridging the digital divide and have adopted and integrated digital solutions into their businesses on a scale comparable to their male counterparts. This is according to new research by Mastercard released this week.
Other top highlights of the week include Africa Search Capital (ASC) announcing the acquisition of a majority stake in Falcon Security Hub (Falcon), Nokia launching a scholarship program aimed at providing greater opportunities for underrepresented communities in the technology industry and Vodacom Business partnering with Trend Micro to elevate cybersecurity offering.