Safaricom is planning to build a new data center outside Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. At the same time, Red Fox’s data center at the same park has gone live.

Safaricom said this month that it has signed a developed land sub-lease agreement with Industrial Parks Development Corporation (IPDC) to build a new Tier-III quality ‘telco-cloud data center’ in the latter’s ICT Park outside the capital.

IPDC Safaricom Ethiopia.jpg
– IPDC | Safaricom Ethiopia

Specifications or timelines weren’t shared, but the company will reportedly invest around $60 million into the project. Safaricom said this will be its third data center in the country.

Anwar Sousa, CEO of Safaricom Ethiopia, said: “We are excited to establish this win-win partnership with IPDC which will allow us to build our third data center in Ethiopia since Safaricom Ethiopia was awarded the unified telecommunications service license in July 2021.”

The deployment comes as Safaricom looks to launch commercial services in the country and become Ethiopia’s second telecoms operator. Until last year the government-owned Ethio Telecom operated with a monopoly on the sector. However, in May 2021 a consortium led by Kenya's Safaricom, Vodafone, and Japan's Sumitomo were awarded a license to operate in the country.

Earlier this year, Safaricom said a prefabricated data center had arrived in the city after being shipped in from China. The company has begun rolling out services in select cities across Ethiopia.

This month the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the World Bank’s investment arm, announced plans to invest €158 million ($160 million) of equity into Safaricom Ethiopia.

In May 2021, Ethio Telecom opened a new Huawei-made modular data center in Addis Ababa.

Red Fox Addis Ababa Ethiopia.jpg
– Red Fox

The IPDC ICT Park occupies around 200 hectares close to Bole international Airport. Other data center firms occupying the park include Sun Data World, Raxio, Wingu.Africa, and Red Fox. The Ministry of Innovation and Technology is also building a facility in the park.

The Red Fox facility launched this week. The facility offers 5,733 sqm (61,700 sq ft).

“Red Fox data center and headquarters, built at the cost of 130 million dollars at ICT Park, has officially started its service,” IPDC tweeted this week. “IPDC CEO Mr. Sandokan Debebe, Redfox Solutions General Manager Adane Kasaye, and other senior government officials attended the launch program.”

“Thank you all for joining us to celebrate the operational launch of our Headquarters and RFETH-MDC01 (RedFox’s first modular data center in Ethiopia)” Red Fox posted. “Our modular data center is now open for business and ready to serve all your data center needs.”

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