The Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund (EAIF), a Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG) company, has committed a $33 million sustainability-linked debt facility to Raxio Group, a leading pan-African data centre developer and operator.
The funding enables the design, construction, operation, and management of a series of high-impact data centres in seven countries across sub-Saharan Africa.
EAIF is acting as co-arranger on the transaction alongside Proparco, with whom it will mobilise a $110 million debt package to Raxio to further develop digital infrastructure – responding to the urgent demand for affordable internet connectivity in the region.
Africa’s data centre market is among the fastest growing in the world and is a key pillar of the continent’s burgeoning digital economy, which is expected to grow 57% to reach $180 billion by 2025 and $712 billion by 2050.1 EAIF’s investment will ensure that this growth is sustainable and inclusive for African communities and businesses, in line with the PIDG ambition to achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal on Industry Innovation and Infrastructure (SDG 9).
The new Tier III quality data centres in Uganda, Ethiopia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mozambique, Angola, Cote D’Ivoire and Tanzania will be some of the first-ever independent, enterprise-standard data centres in these countries. The centres will provide up to 11 MW of additional processing power, delivering high-grade colocation and IT infrastructure services.
The investment marks a significant step towards supporting connectivity and innovation and stimulates the growth of digital economies in nascent data centre markets, fostering an enabling environment for fast-growth businesses to operate and access new markets. Approximately 1,200 jobs will be created during the construction phase, with an additional 120 jobs anticipated post-construction. After the initial roll-out, EAIF and Raxio will target expansion into further African markets.
To date, EAIF’s digital communications infrastructure investment portfolio represents over US$124 million of its total portfolio of US$1.14 billion. The Fund’s risk appetite, structuring expertise and ability to attract capital that would not otherwise flow to critical digital infrastructure projects in sub-Saharan Africa provide a model for other investors seeking to create market-shaping impact in frontier and developing economies.
Commenting on the announcement, Sumit Kanodia, Investment Director at Ninety One, the fund manager of the Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund, said: