Saturday, September 23, 2023
BusinessWingu's data web to grow beyond Addis

Wingu’s data web to grow beyond Addis

Internet exchange host Wingu Africa plans to expand its data center network beyond the ICT Park, eyeing locations like Bahir Dar and Adama.

Wingu Group currently runs data centers in Ethiopia, Djibouti, Somaliland and Tanzania. The company now plans more investment to match Ethiopia’s burgeoning digital needs. 

The company inaugurated Ethiopia’s first carrier-neutral data center in a USD 50 million three-phase investment on Tuesday. It already serves Safaricom Ethiopia, Hybrid Design and private banks.  

Chief Operating Officer Demos Kyriacou says “We plan to invest in data centers outside Addis Ababa. Ethiopia is vast, with many regions suitable for the IT sector.”     

Before building, Wingu evaluated location factors like seismic safety, electricity supply, flood risk and connectivity.

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Wingu’s new 15,000 square meter data center within the ICT Park took 24 months to construct.      

It hosts ADDIX, Ethiopia’s first Internet Exchange Point, providing faster, more reliable internet at lower cost.  

ADDIX currently operates as a sandboxed IXP under the Ethiopia Communications Authority’s supervision.  

Along with Wingu, Safaricom Sun Data World, Raxio and Red Fox also occupy the park. Red Fox’s data center has gone live.

Ethiopia aims to become a major digital hub in East Africa. However, with nearly 120 million people and growing demand for data services, Ethiopia currently lacks sufficient data center infrastructure, affordable internet access and reliable connectivity. 

Authorities hope investment in world-class data centers like Wingu Africa’s could help provide the internet backbone needed to enable Ethiopia’s digital transformation goals.

However, experts note major obstacles remain including the high cost of internet access, underdeveloped digital skills and limited awareness of digital opportunities among businesses and consumers.

With the adoption of a digital strategy, authorities in Ethiopia aim to digitize its economy fueled by the growing number of internet users, which exceeds 25 million. 

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