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HomeBusinessAirtel Africa commences construction of Nxtra by Airtel’s first data centre in...

Airtel Africa commences construction of Nxtra by Airtel’s first data centre in Nigeria

Airtel Africa commences construction of Nxtra by Airtel’s first data centre in Nigeria

Lagos, 12 March 2024: Airtel Africa, a leading provider of telecommunications and mobile money services with a presence in 14 countries across Africa, has officially broken ground on its first data centre in Lagos, Nigeria.

Nxtra by Airtel is set to be one of the largest networks of data centres in Africa, with high-capacity data centres in major cities located strategically across Airtel Africa’s footprint, complementing its existing edge sites. This development underscores the company’s commitment to meeting the continent’s data management needs by providing trusted and sustainable data centre capacity to serve the fast-growing African digital economy.

The ground-breaking ceremony of the new data centre, situated on Lagos’s Victoria Island, was hosted by Airtel Africa’s outgoing Group Chief Executive Officer, Segun Ogunsanya and his successor, Sunil Taldar. It attracted key dignitaries and industry leaders including the Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu; Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Bosun Tijani; Heads of Federal and State Ministries and Parastatals, and Members of the National and State Assemblies, among others.

Speaking during the event, Group Chief Executive Officer, Airtel Africa, Segun Ogunsanya, said the Nxtra project marks a significant milestone in the company’s journey and is a cornerstone of the organization’s growth strategy, with a particular focus on Nigeria, its largest market.

“We strongly believe that the establishment of NXtra Data Centers will enhance data sovereignty, security, and preservation within the continent, reflecting our commitment to make Nigeria a major hub for access to digital services as we propel Africa towards a sustainable and inclusive digital age,” he said.

Mr Ogunsanya added that: “This mega project will provide over 1000 jobs. More significantly, once deployed and at capacity, it will create over 250 permanent jobs for Nigerians whilst supporting companies in manufacturing, financial services, and health care as they move their data and computing into third-party data centres like ours. Ultimately, we have to store data and content closer to where it is being consumed.”

Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, said, “The NXtra Frontier is not merely the construction of a facility, but the dawn of a new era in data control, security, and preservation throughout Africa. Airtel’s commitment to the highest standards in data management, technological innovation, and extensive network infrastructure is truly commendable. With a total capacity of 180 MW distributed across 13 major Data Centers and over 48 Edge Data Centers, NXtra is poised to redefine data storage and accessibility in Africa.”

Also speaking at the ground-breaking ceremony, the Minister of Communications, Innovation and Digital Economy, Dr Bosun Tijani extolled the revolutionary opportunities ahead for business and the economy in a future driven by connectivity via data centres such as NXtra and powered by technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) that the future of business. “Data is a key driver in our economy. Not only do we need to connect our people, we also must invest in the digital economy, and through the investment that companies like Airtel have made in our economy, we are fully able to participate in the digital economy.”

The Nxtra by Airtel data centre in Lagos will deliver 38 megawatts of total power and host high-density racks that integrate the latest best practice construction to achieve 1.3 power usage effectiveness (PUE). It is expected to be live by the first quarter of 2026.

The Lagos data centre facility will be the first of five hyper-scale data centres to be developed by Airtel Africa on the continent. Combined, these data centres will offer a robust 180-megawatt capacity, distributed across 13 major data centres and over 48 edge data centres. Coupled with Airtel Africa’s extensive fibre footprint, Nxtra offers secure and scalable integrated solutions to global hyper-scalers, large African enterprises, startups, SMEs and governments.

Through locally available data centre capacity, speed to access digital services will improve and the cost of managing data will be reduced, thus helping power increase innovation while supporting a new generation of African tech talent. Furthermore, Nxtra is enabling customers to meet data sovereignty requirements while at the same time enabling more local cloud services to be offered in the countries where Airtel Africa operates.

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