The Permanent Secretary for Ministry of ICT and National Guidance, Vincent Waiswa Bagiire today officially declared Raxio Data Centre open. In attendance at the launch were; the American Ambassador, representatives from the French Embassy, the Commissioner-General of URA, Ag. ED Uganda Communication Commission, Telecom executives, government officials to mention a few.
“On behalf of the Ugandan Government and the ICT Ministry, I thank Raxio Group for selecting Uganda as the first stop to build their data center in Africa. This is a world-class facility that is going to support several industries in Uganda and we are delighted at the Ministry because what Raxio has done fits quite well with the country’s digital transformation program,” Bagiire said before launching the data center.
Raxio Data Centre is the first Certified Tier III Data Centre in Uganda and is located in Namave Industrial and Business Park where the key Metropolitan Fibre cables pass. The location is also on the highway to Kenya where Uganda picks up Sub Marine Fibre capacity and thus about 8 fiber connections to Mombasa for internet transit.
The facility has taken nearly three years of construction. Before the launch today, the facility was expected to launch in Q3 last year but the outbreak of the covid-19 pandemic halted the construction for a couple of months, slowed construction due to SOPs that were issued by the government, as well as logistical challenges.
The facility is constructed by Roko Construction Limited who in March 2019 emerged as the winner from a total of 6 companies that were invited to bid on undertaking the civil works of the multi-billion data center. The design was done by Future-tech, a UK-based specialized data center design company, and Symbion Consulting Group.
Ronald Katabira, the Director of Symbion Consulting Group, said, “we were delighted when Raxio approached us to be the consultant that would design and oversee the construction of the facility. It is the first of its kind in Uganda and we really appreciate to have been part of the project.”
The data center was designed in a metro-edge design approach. “Our facility was designed according to what we call a metro-edge design approach that is popular in more mature markets and adapting it to Africa context and environment,” said Raxio Group CEO, Mr. Robert Mullins.
The decision to build Raxio data center in Uganda, Mr. Brooks Washington; Raxio Group Director said, “we decided to build a data center in Uganda because there’s a great mix of the trends that are propelling data center growth around the world, giving us a customer base (Uganda) that really needs the service that we provide.”
The Raxio Uganda data center is the Raxio Group’s second facility after the one in Ethiopia. Mullin said Uganda was selected as the second country in Africa to build the data center because the country’s ICT sector is vibrant and fastest-growing in the African region. He went on to added other reasons including, the country having a strong entrepreneurial spirit within the young population, and the business & public sector maturing along their digital journey increasing requiring reliable ICT infrastructure to deliver their services.
Mullin said that the Group will have a second facility most probably in Entebbe. Raxio has already sensitized the market and so far 70% occupancy has been taken up, and thus need to have another data center.
Raxio Uganda Data Centre is going to enable business continuity thanks to their carrier-neutral data center and certified Tier III standards, offering a service uptime of 99.99% uptime. Customers will be affordable, secure colocation spaces and hosting environments of up to 400 racks to hold all mission-critical IT infrastructure in a 24/7 redundant environment.
The Tier III certification is a commitment that the Raxio will deliver the highest level of service availability for customers who require Colocation Data Centre Services for Disaster Recovery and Cross Connect in the fast-growing ICT sector. The certification is of paramount importance to customers with the most demanding needs providing business-critical services to customers, such as those in the financial services sector, as well as creating the conditions for international customers looking to bring next-generation services into Uganda.
Raxio Group believes the data center is going to greatly support the core priorities for the Ministry of ICT specifically around the ICT infrastructure, job creation, ICT research & innovation as well information security.
Bagiire said the country’s ICT sector has come of age and today, it is the fastest-growing sector largely driven by the telecommunication sub-sector —growing at 20% per annum. He noted that the sector is employing more than 1.3 million people and with the introduction of services Raxio is going to offer, the number will increase greatly. Concluding that the government is ready to support the data center since it is a cornerstone of the growth of the internet as it is home to content networks, carriers, ISPs, mobile telecoms, among others.
Raxio Uganda data center has been made possible thanks to; Future Tech and Symbion Consulting Group who handled the design, GIZA and Germ Consultants handling the mechanical, electrical & plumbing services, Armstrong as the civil consultants, and Build Cost at the surveyors. Raxio Uganda data center is now ready to play an active role in the development of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) in Uganda.
Mullin noted after the Group is constructing their third data center in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Adding that the Group plans on constructing 12 other data centers in the key growth markets in Africa in the next coming years with Raxio Uganda data center being the reference center.