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Kenya: Airtel Africa to construct a data hub following Nigeria’s project

Airtel Africa aims to establish a data center in Nairobi, marking its second facility on the continent after Nigeria, as part of its strategy to diversify revenue streams.

The telco states that the Nairobi data center, applicable to both telecoms and other sectors, will boast a capacity of seven megawatts, following the planned construction of a 36-megawatt center in Lagos, Nigeria.

Airtel Africa CEO Segun Ogunsanya announced in a February 1 conference call with analysts that the telco intends to commence construction of the data center in Nigeria, followed by Kenya, with completion slated for mid-2026.

“We are going to break ground in Nigeria in the next couple of weeks and the one in Kenya will follow soon. Construction takes about two years, so we’re looking at them coming into operation probably sometime in mid-year 2026.

Mr Ogunsanya labelled the two planned data centres as the “key stars in our portfolio” and said they are going to be commercially operated.

Airtel asserts that establishing local data center capacity will enhance access speed to digital services, reduce data management costs, foster innovation, and nurture a new generation of tech talent across the continent.

The project signifies the firm’s latest endeavor to diversify revenue streams beyond its traditional communication and burgeoning mobile money businesses.

In December, Airtel Africa launched Nxtra, its data hub business, emphasizing its dedication to fulfilling the continent’s escalating demand for reliable and sustainable data center capacity, while catering to the rapidly expanding African digital economy.

As per an earlier statement by the telco, Nxtra aims to construct one of the largest networks of data centers in Africa, strategically positioning high-capacity facilities in major cities across Airtel Africa’s footprint.

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