ST Digital, a Cameroun-based cloud services and infrastructure provider that recently raised an undisclosed amount from UHURU Investment Partners, will build three data centres in countries within the Francophone region.  It will bring the number of Tier III data centres in the company’s portfolio to four. 

The three additional data centres will be built in Gabon, Cote d’Ivoire, and Togo, Anthony Same, group director general of ST Digital, told TechCabal in Kigali on the sidelines of the Africa CEO Forum. The three countries are part of the seven countries in which ST Digital already provides cloud services. The data centres in Gabon and Cote d’Ivoire will be finished in 2024 while Togo will be completed in 2025. 

The company is speaking to submarine cable operators to provide interconnectivity for the four data centres. It also plans  to partner with as many operators as possible to increase the quality of the interconnectivity and also to prevent any downtime, especially from submarine cable cuts.  

“To provide local internet access, we are building ISPs in each of our data centres. You won’t suffer submarine cable cuts if you host in our data center,” Same said. 

Digital adoption in the Francophone picked up significantly from 2020 following the COVID-19 lockdown which sent many business around the world to embrace digitalisation. Aside from businesses jumping on the digital bandwagon, many companies have been created online since then. Over 300 digital financial services were launched between 2020 and 2023, according to one report. However, the quality of digital services has been affected by low digital infrastructure such as data centres. As of 2023, the entire data centres in Africa were slightly above 100 with 61 data centres located in South Africa. 

Same said his company decided to build a data centre in 2021, because of demand from private sector operators and public agencies that wanted to host their data locally. 

CAMTEL and Orange are some of the data centre operators in the country, but Same said ST Digital established itself through a “100% Africa cloud” campaign which sought to onboard businesses in Cameroon onto the cloud in an affordable way. Now it counts local banks, government and big companies in the country as clients. 

Moreover, ST Digital’s ambition is to build an ecosystem in the Francophone region where company do not just host their data, but also have access to internet and cloud infrastructure that powers their entire business operations. Same said the company it is on the final round of closing an investment to power the expansion. 

Editor’s Note: We adjusted the investment ST Digital received from UHURU as the parties are not ready to reflect the exact amount raised.

Frank Eleanya Senior Reporter, TechCabal

Get the best African tech newsletters in your inbox