Botswana Fibre Networks (BoFiNet), a wholesale provider of national and international telecommunication infrastructure, has announced plans to build a data centre at the Science and Technology Park in Gaborone, the country’s capital.
The vendor-neutral data centre will host at least 400 racks in 1,000 square metres of white space. Construction is likely to take eight months. The facility is expected to be Tier III certified by the Uptime Institute. It will be Botswana's largest data centre.
BoFiNet board chairperson Pelani Siwawa-Ndai says that, with most services now being delivered on the cloud, this facility will be a host to some of the country’s frequently used services. However, she also points out the opportunity this presents Botswana, which is geographically centred in the SADC [Southern African Development Community], explaining that this new development “presents us with an opportunity to be seen and used as the preferred country to facilitate low-latency connectivity for countries such as Namibia, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Angola and the world at large”.
The centre has also been mentioned as a contributor to Botswana’s Digital Transformation initiatives and the Smart Bots digitization strategy. It is also hoped that it will attract and host major regional and international ICT players.
Research group Xalam Analytics has pointed out that, after years of strong promise, but relatively slow expansion outside of South Africa, the African data centre market has entered a phase of accelerated growth – as this new development proves. However, much of the continent still has a lot of catching up to do.