A state-owned US finance agency has loaned Africa Data Centres (ADC) $83 million, potentially rising to $300 million.

The US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) this week announced the first disbursement of $83 million of its up to $300 million loan to ADC.

Africa Data Centres Cape Town II South Africa.jpg
– Africa Data Centres

The loan will support the development, expansion, and operation of data centers in South Africa, Kenya, and other DFC-eligible countries. The first disbursement primarily supports data center expansion in South Africa.

“DFC’s investment in Africa Data Centres helps expand critical information and communications technology infrastructure in South Africa, Kenya, and other countries in the region,” said DFC CEO Scott Nathan. “Building secure, trusted information technology networks will help enable development and economic growth throughout Africa.”

“Africa Data Centres is pleased to work with DFC to expand our facilities and network throughout Africa,” said Africa Data Centres CEO Tesh Durvasula. “This financing supports our efforts to build scaleable, efficient, resilient, secure, and sustainable infrastructure that supports Africa’s adoption of world-class cloud services.” 

The DFC is a development finance institution and agency of the United States federal government focused on investing in development projects primarily in lower- and middle-income countries. It was formed in 2019 by merging the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) with the Development Credit Authority (DCA) of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), as well as with several smaller offices and funds.

The DFC said the loan was ‘a key investment’ advancing the Biden Administration’s Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment (PGII). Formed in 2021, PGII is a collaborative effort by the G7 to fund infrastructure projects in developing nations; it is considered to be the bloc's response to China's Belt and Road Initiative.

ADC has or is developing data centers in Nairobi, Kenya; Lagos, Nigeria; Lomé, Togo; and the Samrand and Midrand areas of Johannesburg as well as the Diep River area of Cape Town, South Africa. It recently announced plans to build a 30MW data center in Accra, Ghana as well as a second 20MW facility in Cape Town, South Africa.

The new 20MW facility will cover 15,000 square meters (161,450 sq ft) in eight data halls. The company is currently in the initial design phase, with work set to start on site in the last quarter of 2022. Completion is scheduled for the end of 2023.

ADC’s existing Cape Town facility offers 2,700 sqm (29,000 sq ft) of IT space across three data halls. At full future built out, the site will offer 6,000 sqm (64,580 sq ft) and 25MW.

Last year, the company announced a $500 million goal to build 10 data centers across 10 African countries over the next two years. The company plans to double its footprint and build facilities in places like Morocco, Tunisia, and Egypt.

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