Equinix is reportedly planning to invest $390 million in building data centers in Africa over the next five years.

MainOne-MDXi, Appolonia Ghana.jpg
A MainOne data center in Appolonia, Ghana – MainOne

The investment will focus primarily on South Africa and the West of the continent, according to Bloomberg.

Equinix is also exploring opportunities in East Africa and may spend more to build or acquire there, according to managing director for South Africa, Sandile Dube.

“We will continue to invest where it makes sense on the continent, and we are undergoing a number of studies to ascertain these opportunities,” Dube said. “The money planned for investment includes the construction of data centers at our current operations, but excludes plans for additional markets.”

The company first entered Africa with its $320m acquisition of MainOne Cable Co in 2021. This move brought three operational data centers to Equinix's portfolio, in Nigeria, Ghana, and Cote d'Ivoire. MainOne also had a Nigeria data center under construction at the time of the acquisition, which later opened in April 2022.

Since then, Equinix announced plans for a Johannesburg, South Africa, IBX data center in December 2022. The facility, for which construction began in 2023, will have 4MW of IT capacity, in its first phase, eventually reaching 20MW and more than 100,000 sq ft (9,290 sqm) of colocation space. It is expected to launch later this year.

Of Equinix's Africa strategy, Dube said: “We’re going to need key hubs on the continent as we have in Europe, which is why we have started with Lagos, Joburg and, in time, we would like to add Nairobi.”

Dube was appointed as managing director for South Africa in November 2023 and is responsible for the launch of the IBX in Johannesburg. Dube was previously MD of Hewlett Packard Enterprises in South Africa.