[Africa Tech Review] Duncan Mochama: There’s a growing demand for data centres in Africa
With the week almost coming to an end, there has been a lot of interesting tech news from across Africa that we have covered here on Africa Business Communities.
This week, a new report from The African Data Centres Association (ADCA) and Xalam Analytics revealed that Africa needs 1000MW and 700 facilities to meet growing demand and bring the rest of the continent onto level terms. The report came as the demand for cloud services also keep increasing as Incetro CEO, Dennis De Weerd told us in a recent interview. At the same time, Allgress, a global provider of automated next-generation integrated Cloud Security, Compliance and Risk Management Solutions announced its opening of a new office in Bedfordview, Gauteng, South Africa. Vodacom Business also achieved the status of the first Amazon Web Services (AWS) partner in Africa, to attain the AWS Outposts Ready designation.
In Kenya, Kenyan Government through the Ministry of Industrialization, Trade and Enterprise Development partnered with Stanbic Kenya Foundation and Microsoft to impart digital skills to over 50,000 entrepreneurs. Visa also announced that it was expanding its Practical Business Skills platform to Kenyan small and micro business (SMBs). The Practical Business Skills platform is a global digital platform delivering free educational resources to help SMBs owners make confident, informed decisions to grow their businesses. Kenya Railways Corporation (KRC) also unveiled a new transit shed with an enhanced storage capacity to handle cargo for SMEs within Nairobi and its environs while Interswitch Group launched Quickteller Business, a new comprehensive corporate solution focused on empowering SMEs in Africa facilitate payments and manage transactions from anywhere in the world.
African startups were also in the news this week. Ride-hailing app Bolt raised Ksh.19.8 billion funding from D1 Capital Partners to bolster safety and security measures on its platform. This came just a few months after the company launched Bolt Web App, a cost-effective alternative for riders to request a trip on a web browser. In September last year, Bolt also up-scaled security and safety features on the platform to improve safety and well-being of passengers, riders and drivers during a Bolt trip.
Kenyan trucking logistics marketplace startup Amitruck also secured an ‘undisclosed’ investment led by US-based Dynamo Ventures with participation from Plug and Play Ventures. To support local innovators, the Kenya National Innovation Agency (KeNIA) announced it was establishing a National Innovation Technical Committee that will help build a comprehensive and inclusive framework for nurturing startups. The U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC), also disbursed a $1 million equity investment in Kasha Global, an e-commerce company that provides women’s health and personal care products to customers in Rwanda and Kenya.
This week, Facebook also launched a product for journalists to register with the platform to receive features and tools designed to support them. Just the other day, to commemorate this year’s Safer Internet Day, the social media giant and Africa’s children’s edutainment companies Ubongo Kids unveiled a Public Service Announcement video that educates children and parents on online safety.
Mastercard and MTN this week announced a strategic partnership to enable millions of consumers in 16 countries across Africa to make global e-commerce payments safely and securely. In Rwanda, MTN had recently hinted at plans to set up a fintech firm.