Are Data Centres Key to Firing Up Africa's Digital Revolution?
- 06.10.2020 03:25 pm
Africa is on the verge of realising its economic potential, as IT investment explodes across the continent and with South Africa alone, seeing IT infrastructure spending passing the $26-billion mark in 2020. The massive continental capital development is driving the continent’s digital revolution as it looks to fulfil its economic potential. Taking place at this year’s AfricaTech, Data Centres Africa will explore the enormous opportunity Africa represents for Big Data – locally on the continent, and the world at large.
Capitalising on this interest, Microsoft recently opened two data centres in Africa, while Oracle is set to launch additional facilities during 2020. These data centres are part of a technological movement that is fuelling economic growth across the continent, as Africa is taking advantage of the opportunity to leapfrog outdated technology to stay closer to the cutting edge of digital innovation.
While this digital infrastructure is essential for growing local economies, it also offers the potential for Africa to outsource services to the rest of the world, with a number of giant global corporations maintaining storage centres in Africa.
Aside from the technological opportunities opened-up by these centres, they also offer lower operational costs, time monitoring benefits, precise management of resources. They also provided a platform for global corporations to route workloads through the continent in order to decrease latency, improve overall performance and reduce costs.
“When you look at the immense investments in data centres across the continent, centred around key IT hubs such as Nigeria, South Africa, Egypt, Kenya, Morocco and Tunisia, you start to develop of picture of a continent bursting with opportunities,” says James Williams, Portfolio Manager – Connecting Africa, Informa Tech. “These data centres have the power to interact and to service parts of the continent that are relatively undeveloped, and this is giving Africa the opportunity to stand and fall by the power of its ingenuity.”
Discussions happening on 9 November at Data Centres Africa at the virtual Africa Tech Festival include:
· The critical role of data centres for telcos and financial services – a discussion about the role played by data centres in Africa’s FinTech revolution, including the ways in which data centres can help enterprises to address the increased challenges of regulatory compliance, shifting customer demands, data privacy and security?
· Remote monitoring and managing is revolutionising African data centres – a presentation that profiles the effect of increasingly sophisticated remote monitoring in terms of improving efficiency and cost management, including the operational changes that the COVID-19 outbreak has effected within African data centres.
· Edge, Cloud & Beyond: Exploring value in an African context – a panel discussion aimed at unpacking the key drivers behind the edge boom: 5G, AI & IoT adoption by enterprise, as well as data demands and cost management. The panel will also look at ‘cloud-readiness’ across African nations in terms of current infrastructure and the need for fast, reliable broadband connectivity.
· What has the COVID crisis taught us about the role of data centres in Africa? A presentation that examines how the industry in Africa has stepped up in the COVID-19 battle, with a particular focus on how the shift to remote working has impacted on data centres across the continent?
· Environmental aspects of data centre management – this panel discussion will focus on the potential for environmentally focussed technological advances to manage and reduce data centre carbon emissions, as well as examining renewable energy (microgrids), virtualisation of power and efficiency.
· Exploring the tech advances revolutionising the data centre industry – a presentation on the rapid changes that technology has brought to data centres across the continent.
Speakers participating in the Africa Tech Festival will include:
- Moustapha Cisse, Research Scientist and head of AI (Accra), Google
- Juliet Mhango, Chief Human Capital Development & Transformation Officer, Cell C
- Peter Ndegwa, Chief Executive Officer, Safaricom
- Abdoulaye Yéro Baldé, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, Republic of Guinea
- Daniel Adaramola, Chief Information Security Officer, Unity Bank
- Kuseni Dlamini, Chairman, Massmart
- Rapelang Rabana, Founder, Rekindle Digital & Rekindle Learning
- Chris Bertish, Mavericks Big Wave Champion, SUP Trans-Atlantic Paddler, Adventurer
- Dr Tashmia Ismail-Saville, CEO, Youth Employment Service
- Desere Orill, Chairman, Ole!Connect & Director, Bold Network
- Yumna Tayob, Head of Learning & Development, FNB Bank
- Adeleke Pitan, Head of Talent & Reward Management, ARM HoldCo
- Herman Singh, CEO, Future Advisory
- Razvan Ungureanu, Chief Technology Officer, Airtel Africa
- Dorothy Tembo, Executive Director, The International Trade Centre
- Ammin Youssouf, CEO, Afrobytes
- Aubrey Hruby, Senior Fellow, Africa Center, co-founder, Africa Expert Network
- Dion Jerling, Managing Director, Connecting Earth
- Jan Vermeulen, Editor At Large, MyBroadband
- Abe Wakama, CEO, IT News Africa
Data Centres Africa at the Virtual Africa Tech Festival offers a unique opportunity to explore the revolutionary changes that technology has brought to the dynamic world of data centres and cloud services and the impact this will have across the African continent.
Taking place online this year, the Africa Tech Festival incorporating AfricaCom and AfricaTech will provide ample opportunity for insight, business operational adjustment and an eye as to the opportunities presented by the digital shift.
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