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Airtel Africa Launches Nxtra by Airtel, Appoints Yashnath Issur as CEO

By Aduragbemi Omiyale

A new data centre business known as Nxtra by Airtel has been unveiled by Airtel Africa Plc, with Mr the former head of Global Data Centre Portfolio Management at Amazon Web Services, Mr Yashnath Issur, appointed to lead the new organisation.

Mr Issur is armed with about 16 years of experience in the industry and has, over the past year, built a team of experts to execute the strategy.

Business Post gathered that Nxtra was established to meet Africa’s growing needs for trusted and sustainable data centre capacity and to serve the fast-growing African digital economy.

The first major Nxtra facility in Lagos, Nigeria, expected to be live in mid-2025, will deliver 34 MW of total power. It is designed to host high-density racks and integrate the latest best practice construction to achieve a 1.3 power usage effectiveness (PUE).

The ambition is to enable Nxtra to serve the growing need of African enterprises and its data centre infrastructure will be designed to host the next generation of computing while providing multi-MW capacity in a phased manner.

The ultimate goal is to build 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.

However, these facilities will meet stringent global security requirements and meet five nines availability, offering secure and scalable integrated solutions to global hyper-scalers, large African enterprises, startups, SMEs and governments, particularly with Airtel Africa’s extensive fibre footprint.

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 will enable 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.

“A rapid increase in data centre capacity is needed to support the growth potential of Africa’s digital economy.  We’re proud to drive the future of Africa’s digital infrastructure, unlocking opportunities for businesses to grow and fuelling economic prosperity.

“Airtel Africa’s team has consistently shown our ability to deliver on infrastructure projects across Africa, and we are confident that our next-generation data centres will support our ambition to become the partner of choice for global customers and Africa’s newest tech unicorns alike,” the chief executive of Airtel Africa, Mr Segun Ogunsanya, said.

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