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The new data centre is ‘EcoStruxure-ready’, with components of the installed EcoStruxure for Data Centers platform solution. (Image source: Schneider Electric)

IXAfrica Data Centres has launched the first and largest hypercloud, AI-ready data centre in East Africa alongside Schneider Electric, an energy management and automation solutions provider

The new centre is aimed at attracting global hyperscale and Internet customers and is located in Nairobi, Kenya, which is within Africa’s growing technology epicentre – the ‘Digital Savannah’. Nicknamed ‘NBOX1’, the venture was backed by a US$50mn capital investment from Helios, a leading investment firm is now open for business

The facility is underpinned by Schneider Electric power train solutions including power protection and distribution equipment, together with transformers, MV and LV switchgear, and a basic BMS for monitoring the solution.The company’s EcoStruxure for data centres architecture and solutions is also being utilised, providing the new data centre with maximum resilience, uptime and cost efficiency, enhanced security, and the ability to meet IXAfrica’s sustainability goals.

“Kenya is a hypercloud-ready region with advanced cloud adoption propensities, a digitally savvy ecosystem, access to diverse internet fibre connectivity, high-availability and low-carbon sources of power,” remarked Snehar Shah, CEO IXAfrica. “This all sits within a country offering a stable regulatory and political environment, and a strong economy forecast to grow 5.2% in 2024.”

Schneider Electric worked with local consultants Prisma Techniques to ensure that the power train solution met the objectives of the design provided by FutureTech on behalf of IXAfrica. The equipment is engineered to meet IEC standards as well as local requirements imposed by the nature of Kenya’s national grid, and environmental considerations such as weather conditions and Nairobi’s high altitude.

With the power grid creating stability challenges as it introduces more power from renewable sources, the use of back-up lithium-ion batteries in conjunction with the Galaxy VX UPS provides a formidable solution to some of the challenges associated with intermittency or variability of supply.

Sustainability at the heart

Schneider Electric EcoStruxure for Data Centers and its supporting solutions not only enable high levels of data centre performance, resilience and resource efficiency, but also support IXAfrica’s sustainability ambitions through energy savings and lowered CO2 emissions.

Mouna Essa Egh, secure power vice president for Middle East & Africa, commented, “We believe that sustainable practices are essential for the future of data centres, and we are proud to partner with organisations like IXAfrica to create environmentally conscious and innovative digital habitats for the evolving technological landscape.”

5G technology deployment will take place later this year. (Image source: Adobe Stock)

Nokia and Telecom Egypt have formed a new partnership in order to revolutionise Egypt’s telecom landscape by introducing 5G to select cities

Alexandria, Aswan, Cairo, Giza and Luxor are among those selected to benefit from the transformative power of 5G that will be made available as Nokia deploys its 5G radio access network (RAN) equipment from its AirScale portfolio, comprising baseband units and its latest generation of Massive MIMO radios. These solutions utilise Nokia's energy-efficient ReefShark System-on-Chip technology, delivering extensive 5G capacity and coverage as well as enabling easy deployments. Nokia will also offer various professional services, encompassing deployment, integration, and network optimisation.

The AirScale portfolio will be deployed in order to deliver an enhanced network experience to Telecom Egypt’s customers including faster data speeds, enhanced performance, and capacity.

Mohamed Al Fowey, vice president, and chief technology officer at Telecom Egypt, commented, “This new agreement with Nokia further strengthens our strong partnership, reaffirms our commitment to providing cutting-edge digital services, and positions us at the forefront of the 5G revolution. Both our consumer and enterprise customers can look forward to enhanced mobile broadband and exciting new applications that leverage the speed and low latency of 5G technology.”

The deployment of 5G technology is expected to unlock numerous benefits to the people of Egypt, including increased capacity for seamless connectivity in densely-populated areas. This will support a wide range of applications and services, resulting in faster downloads, smoother streaming, and improved network performance. This advancement will enable unprecedented levels of innovation and efficiency across various sectors, empowering organisations to thrive in today's fast-paced digital landscape.

The distributor will hold specialised training and empowerment sessions to enable its channel network to effectively deliver Vertiv’s portfolio, as well as managing inventory to serve the market. (Image source: Vertiv)

Redington, a technology aggregator, has formed a strategic distribution partnership with Vertiv, a global provider of critical digital infrastructure and continuity solutions, in order to empower channel partners across Africa to leverage the transformative potential of Vertiv’s technology and expand its reseller network

The partnership leverages Redington's established presence and expertise in emerging markets, particularly in data centre transformation and artificial intelligence (AI), alongside Vertiv's industry-leading power and cooling technology, resources. This combination will unlock new opportunities for Vertiv to extend its reach within the regional channel market. The distributor’s comprehensive reach across Africa, coupled with its strong in-house services team, will provide additional value to Vertiv's local channel partners and end users.

"As Vertiv continues to expand its footprint across Africa, this strategic partnership with Redington marks a significant milestone in our journey," remarked Wojtek Piorko, managing director for Africa at Vertiv. "Africa is a critical region for Vertiv as a business, and we look forward to supporting local customers in meeting their efficiency, scalability and sustainability goals into the future, together with Redington.”

The partnership encompasses Vertiv's entire Integrated Solutions portfolio and IT channel product stack, spanning Africa. This offering enables Redington to deliver a complete suite of Vertiv's cutting-edge solutions to its extensive network of channel partners and end users.

“At Redington, we're constantly seeking strategic partnerships that fuel innovation and drive growth across Africa,” said Dharshana Kosgalage, executive vice president, Technology Solutions Group, Redington Middle East and Africa. “Our collaboration with Vertiv exemplifies this commitment. Vertiv’s industry-leading technology perfectly complements our extensive reach, creating a powerful value proposition for businesses across the continent. We're confident this alliance will catalyse Africa's digital revolution."

Transforming Africa's digital economy: Data Centres powering growth, innovation, and sustainability in the digital era. (Image source: Adobe Stock)

A deep dive into Africa's evolving data centre landscape – a pivotal force in the continent's digital revolution
As Africa’s digital economy accelerates, data centres are at the heart of this transformation. These facilities have become the backbone of the continent’s rapidly expanding digital economy, powering everything from cloud computing to e-commerce platforms in today’s interconnected world. No longer merely storage solutions, data centres now represent complex ecosystems that facilitate data processing, analytics, and secure transmission.
We are excited to announce the upcoming publication of the Communications Africa Data Centre Industry Outlook Report this August.
This comprehensive report will delve into several critical areas:
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Industry Practices: Gain valuable insights into the latest trends and best practices for top-tier data centre solutions, ensuring your operations stay ahead of the curve.
Sustainability: Discover eco-friendly practices that are shaping the future of data centres, helping to create a more sustainable and resilient infrastructure.
This report is an unmissable opportunity to be part of a groundbreaking project and leverage our platform for maximum impact.
Act Now! Contact us here to explore how you can be featured in this report and join us in shaping the future of Africa’s digital landscape. 

Esther Kimani is the third woman and second Kenyan to win the Africa Prize. (Image source: Royal Academy of Engineering)

Esther Kimani has been named winner of the Royal Academy of Engineering’s Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation for her early crop pest and disease detection device

The winning AI tool was selected by judges due to its ability to swiftly detect and identify agricultural pests and diseases. This innovation offers the chance for smallholder farmers to reduce crop losses by up to 30% while increasing yields by up to 40% – a particularly pertinent issue in Kenya where five million smallholder farmers lost 33% of their crops on average to pests and diseases.

Kimani’s solar-powered tool uses computer vision algorithms and advanced machine learning to detect and identify crop pests, pathogens or diseases, as well as the nature of the infection or infestation. The device then notifies the farmer via SMS. This affordable alternative to traditional detection methods leases for just US$3 per month.

“My parents would lose up to 40% of their crops each farming season, which affected our standard of living,” commented Kimani. “We are empowering smallholder farmers, many of whom are women, to increase their income. We aim to scale to one million farmers in the next five years.”

For her efforts and to help further develop the device, Kimani received KSh8.3mn to further develop the device – the largest amount awarded to a winner yet.

In claiming the prize, Kimani edged ahead of three other finalists who have subsequently each been awarded KSh2.5mn. These included:

• Kevin Maina, Eco Tiles: An environmentally-friendly roofing material made from recycled plastic. Stronger and lighter than clay or concrete tiles, the innovation is a dual solution to plastic pollution and high building costs.
• Rory Assandey, La Ruche Health: An AI chatbot tool available on WhatsApp and mobile apps named ‘Kiko’ to connect communities to vital health information, advice and services with a digital backend solution to streamline documentation, billing, and data sharing for practitioners.
• Martin Tumusiime, Yo-Waste: A location-based mobile application that connects homes and businesses to independent agents for efficient on-demand rubbish collection and disposal to help Uganda combat its mounting waste crisis.

A separate ‘One to Watch’ award was also awarded to Abubakari Zarouk Imoro for his innovation, Myco-Substitutes, for their innovation’s impact on local communities. Imoro received UK£5,000, conferred in 2024 in honour of Martin Bruce, a late Ghanaian alumnus of the Africa Prize.

10th Africa Prize marked in Nairobi

The annual Africa Prize was introduced in order to support innovators in their quest to develop sustainable and scalable solutions to local challenges in the continent.

This year, the Royal Academy of Engineering is celebrating the 10th anniversary of the prize and has marked the milestone by hosting the Africa Prize Alumni Reunion. This brought together 100 innovators from the past decade ahead of the final ceremony. Since its inception, the Africa Prize alumni community has now grown to almost 150 entrepreneurs from 23 countries who have reportedly generated more than 28,000 jobs through their innovations and services.

The 2025 Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation is now open for entries. The Academy is looking for scalable engineering solutions designed to solve local challenges, and individuals and small teams living and working in sub-Saharan Africa are invited to enter.

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