DRC to gain first carrier-neutral data centre from OADC

08 February 2023

The initial phase of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)’s first open-access, carrier-neutral data centre, OADC Kinshasa; FIH1, will go live in the second quarter of 2023.

It is expected to boost the county’s digital ecosystem and economy by delivering converged open digital infrastructure services for colocation and connectivity.
Located in Kinshasa within TEXAF’s Silkin Village, the 2MW-capable OADC Kinshasa is a partnership between Open Access Data Centres (OADC), part of the WIOCC Group and TEXAF, a major long-term investor in the economy of the DRC.

OADC Kinshasa is a strategic element of digital infrastructure for the DRC, which the World Bank reports as being one of the most under-developed digital economies in Africa. It will boost the country’s IT, colocation, and support the cloud infrastructure needs of a wide range of businesses and enterprises, enabling them to improve efficiency, expedite digitisation initiatives and more effectively service business and customer needs. The open, carrier neutral facility will create the first vibrant and comprehensive interconnect and peering ecosystem in the country across multiple carriers, ISPs, content providers and internet exchanges; a first in the DRC, transforming the digital infrastructure ecosystem.

As the country’s first open access, carrier neutral data centre, OADC FIH1 Kinshasa is also expected to boost the country’s internet penetration which InternetWorldStats reports was only 17.4% at the start of 2022, compared to 43% for Africa as a whole and 68.6% for the rest of the world.

Similarly, improved access to connectivity, cloud and internet services can be expected to increase consumer use of online applications such as Facebook: according to InternetWorldStats, in April 2022 DRC’s Facebook subscribers, as a percentage of the country’s population, was only 5.4%, compared to 18.6% for Africa as a whole and 38.1% for the rest of the world. The quality of the facility, which will be Tier III Certified by the Uptime Institute, together with its vibrant interconnect ecosystem is expected to draw key cloud and content services into DRC.

“This data centre, and others we have in the pipeline for DRC, are changing the narrative and opportunities for large and small enterprises, government departments, and international content networks and cloud operators to localise in the country,” said Ayotunde Coker, CEO of OADC, commented. “As a result, we are already in advanced discussions with a number of potential anchor tenants about establishing their presence in our facility. Partnering with TEXAF, with their local knowledge, experience and understanding of the local business environment in the DRC, ensures that our approach to developing and expanding our capabilities in the DRC is consistent with - and tailored to - local requirements and demands, and that we help businesses and the country as a whole to contribute to and benefit from the digital transformation of Africa. The facility will join a growing network of interconnected, open and carrier neutral data centres across the continent.”

“We are proud to be partnering with OADC in the creation of another essential building block of the digital ecosystem here in the DRC. This fully validates our strategy of attracting international industry leaders such as OADC to the country and specifically into our new SILIKIN VILLAGE digital hub. It is also an affirmation of our standing and reputation in the country,” said Philippe Croonenberghs, chairman of TEXAF.