African data centre market set to reach US$5 billion by 2026

African data centre market set to reach US$5 billion by 2026

The African data centre market by investment was valued at US$2 billion in 2020 and is expected to reach US$5 billion by 2026, growing at a compounded annual growth rate of 15% from 2021 to 2026, according to a report by Research and Markets. Research and Markets stated that factors influencing growth include renewable power availability, smart city initiatives and increased support for the digital economy.

The report noted that Egypt, South Africa, Kenya, Morocco and Ethiopia are working toward improving the share of renewable energy in the region’s electricity generation. Research and Markets Africa is an emerging leader in microgrid capacity and grid-connected, on-site energy generation or storage plants help data centres to control power costs more efficiently by saving on peak demand costs charged by traditional grid facilities.

According to Research and Markets, the Africa IT infrastructure market expects to reach approximately US$4 billion by 2026. The growth in data generation in Africa is fuelling the demand for fast-processing efficient servers.

The demand for build-to-suit infrastructure is growing to support specific applications and several segments such as BFSI, healthcare, transportation and logistics, education and heavy industries are adopting advanced server systems for efficient services.

However, the report noted that the unreliable power grid connectivity increases the demand for power back-up sources with UPS and generator systems expected to grow because of increased construction of large and mega data centre facilities. The Kenya data centre market has witnessed the installation of energy-efficient power infrastructure and most facilities are of Tier III standards and are adopting power redundancy of N+1 or 2N to manage power grid instability.

The report stated that colocation service providers are likely to emerge as contributors to the lithium-ion UPS products market as vendors are continuously offering innovative UPS products to boost efficiency and reduce cost.

Research and Markets said the construction of extensive facilities across Africa is likely to boost the generators market with the growing complexity of data centre infrastructure driving the demand for automated switchgear technology. The demand for intelligent PDUs among colocation end-users is growing as there is an increasing need to meter and monitor rack power consumption, stated the report.

Research and Markets said data centre facilities operating in the African region mainly adopt chillers and precision air cooling. The adoption of air-based cooling (free cooling chillers) is likely to gain traction as certain African countries suffer cold winter seasons and South Africa is expected to adopt free cooling chillers or evaporative coolers.

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