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WIOCC raises $41 million to expand infrastructure in Nigeria, others 

The West Indian Ocean Cable Company (WIOCC) has secured $41 million in debt funding to expand data centre infrastructure in Nigeria, South Africa, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). 

The funding led by IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, also saw participation from Proparco, a development finance institution and subsidiary of the Agence Française de Développement Group.  

The funding comprises loans of $10 million, ZAR 200 million ($11 million) from the IFC and $20 million from Proparco.

According to a joint statement by the financiers, WIOCC is also expected to sign an additional $10 million loan with RMB in the next few weeks. 

Data centre expansion 

With the funding, WIOCC which owns one of the largest data centres in Nigeria, Open Access Data Centres, said it would expand its core and edge data centres in its three operating countries to meet the growing demand for colocation and other data centre services.  

It will also grow its fibre networks, helping bridge the digital divide, and fostering economic growth across Africa. 

According to the statement, the financing is structured as a sustainability-linked debt, with pricing linked to WIOCC’s commitment to improve the energy efficiency of its data centres and obtain EDGE green building certification for them. EDGE, an innovation of IFC, makes it easy to design and certify resource-efficient and zero-carbon buildings. 

What they are saying 

Commenting on the funding, the CEO of WIOCC Group, Chris Wood, said: 

“We are excited to conclude this next stage of our capital raise, which will enable significant expansion, adding further capacity to our open-access data centre operation and extending open-access hyper scale national, international, and metro connectivity across our key markets in Nigeria, southern Africa, the DRC and Greater East and Central Africa.  

“Our policy of continual investment in infrastructure to create Africa’s first, truly open-access interconnected digital ecosystem means ongoing investment for growth, ensuring readiness to meet the future demands of our client’s customers throughout Africa.”  

Head of Energy, Digital and Infrastructure at PROPARCO, Ariane Ducreux, said the Agence Française de Développement Group has been supporting WIOCC since its inception back in 2007.  

“We are very proud to pursue this long-term partnership by supporting the expansion of the Open Access Data Centres’ activities in Nigeria, South Africa, DRC and beyond. Truly neutral and open-access data centres are the cornerstone of a diversified digital ecosystem.  

“Local data storage and processing capacity are also vital for the resilience of Africa’s digital network, as recent outages have demonstrated. The sustainability-linked structure of this new financing, along with technical assistance support, also aims to incentivize the rollout of energy and water-efficient data centres, while adapting implementations to the specs of each site environment,” Ducreux said. 

In his comments, IFC Global Industry Director of Infrastructure, Bertrand de la Borde, said the Corporation’s long-standing partnership with WIOCC of more than 15 years demonstrates its commitment to increasing affordable and reliable digital connectivity in Africa through shared infrastructure.  

According to him, this new debt facility would help WIOCC fulfil its ambition to establish an integrated, open-access, core-to-edge cloud ecosystem throughout the African continent, which is critical to bridging the digital divide.  


Source: TheTimes.com.ng.

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