Global ICT firm, Africa Data Centres has advised African nations, including Nigeria to adopt policies that support an appropriate framework for the adoption of internet-based and other ICT-related services.
According to CEO of the firm, Stephane Duproz, moving towards a knowledge-based economy by harnessing the power of ICTs, will greatly boost the competitiveness and financial health of emerging nations.
He said for most African countries, it is this very lack of adequate infrastructure remains a major obstacle to the uptake of ICTs. “Not enough investment in infrastructure and networks, combined with the inefficient provision of services, also undermines the development of emerging economies. Only by improving the flow of information and providing a platform for other services, do ICTs have the potential to correct market failures and remove constraints to development”
“Research by McKinsey estimates that the Internet can deliver productivity gains in the continent across a wide range of industries, including education, healthcare, financial services, agriculture, retail and government sectors. These productivity gains across six key sectors are projected to be valued between $148 billion and $318 billion by 2025, which could lead to a 10 to 20% increase in production in the agriculture sector by 2025, or a projected cost saving of 60% to 75% on administrative tasks for African governments.”
It is a huge opportunity, says Duproz. The internet contributes up to 3.7% of GDP on average, while in African countries it’s a mere 1.1%. “In Africa, as with the rest of the world, nothing has a greater potential to transform societies than ICTs. They promise growth and prosperity as ICTs promote greater inclusion, social cohesion as well as environmental sustainability. It goes beyond merely technological infrastructure, to become social infrastructure, connecting communities, systems, and people.
And at the heart of all this potential lies the data centre. The digital economy is all about data, and the continent must develop a network of data centres to ensure data sovereignty, bandwidth and latency time, and bring the content back into the continent.
“Data centres are the foundation for ICT economic growth and the key to developing rich and self-sufficient ICT ecosystems,” says Duproz. “Data centres are the heart of every business and the cornerstone of the internet. Thousands of networks and connections meet at the data centre, which is also tasked with delivering IT services and providing storage and networking to a growing number of networked devices, users, and business processes.
And the greatest untapped market for data centre providers is Africa, a continent with more than 50 countries and a population exceeding one billion, a large number of which are at the age where they are keen to learn, to go online, and consume digital services.