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The East Africa Data Centre, in Nairobi, Kenya, has announced an US$11m expansion to support its drive to “keep African data in Africa”.

The center, operated by Liquid Telecom, is getting a billion Kenyan shillings (roughly US$11m) to build more capacity, after customer demand forced it to ration allocated rack space to its customers, according to allAfrica.

The four-storey East Africa Data Centre facility – opened last September – completed an expansion at the end of June after its initial 500 sq m of data center space sold out within four months.

East Africa Data Centre general manager Dan Kwach said: “we had to ration the rack space when we were selling the first floor due to huge demand, until we could get the second floor built and operational and the third floor ready to go quickly.”

“The second floor took roughly eight months, but now we have the space ready, we can move much quicker and customers can buy the amount they want,” Kwach said.

The East Africa Data Centre houses Kenya’s Internet Exchange Point and has been credited by the global Internet Society as a key factor in driving down internet prices in Kenya.

The facility also hosts Points of Presence (PoPs) for global carriers including Tata, Level3, Seacom, and Liquid Telecom.

“By providing a central point for interconnect services, it has reduced latency, improved data services, reduced costs and made it easier to transfer data across networks,” Kwach said.

“By keeping African data in Africa we continue to help reduce the costs of internet access while creating an environment that encourages innovation and entrepreneurial culture in the field of ICT and local businesses.”

East Africa Data Centre has plans to set up more facilities within East Africa, with potential sites mooted along the Kenyan coastal town, in Mombasa and in Rwanda.