The Chief Executive Officer of Medallion Data Centres Limited (formerly Medallion Communications Limited), Engr. Ikechukwu Nnamani has expressed his joy following the announcement by Digital Realty (NYSE: DLR) of its investment into the country through Medallion Data Centres Limited, saying that the investment is a major boost towards Nigeria’s quest for a fully digital economy in the near future.
“The entrance of Digital Realty into Nigeria is truly significant as it ensures that the plan by the Federal Government of Nigeria to create a fully digital economy will be actualized,” he said in a statement today in Lagos following the announcement by Digital Reality.
Engr. Nnamani, expressed delight at the successful conclusion of the transaction and pointed out that Nigeria as a country is the biggest beneficiary of this development. According to him, for Nigeria to transition to a fully digital economy, it will need next generation telecom infrastructure of which datacenters is a critical part.
“None of the global digital content and cloud service providers has their storage or compute nodes in Nigeria or any of the West African countries. To attract global players in the telecom and ICT space to Nigeria, we must have world class datacenters operating at hyperscale level.
“Although Medallion has a robust datacenter business and rated as one of the best datacenter operator in the region, we realized we needed a global player with international experience to work with if we are to fulfill the expectation of the emerging datacenter market in the sub-region,” the statement added.
This prompted Medallion to structure investment with Digital Realty, largest global provider of cloud- and carrier-neutral data centers, colocation and interconnection solutions. Digital Realty supports the world’s leading enterprises and service providers by delivering the full spectrum of data centre, colocation and interconnection solutions.
PlatformDIGITAL®, the company’s global data centre platform, provides customers a trusted foundation and proven Pervasive Datacenter Architecture (PDx™) solution methodology for scaling digital business and efficiently managing data gravity challenges. Digital Realty’s global data centre footprint gives customers access to the connected communities that matter to them with 291 facilities in 47 metros across 24 countries on six continents. Digital Realty currently maintains over 167,000 cross connects and client base of over 4,000 customers.
Apart from upgrading the Medallion existing datacenters to global standards, new world class datacenters will be built in the West African sub-region leading to job creation, rapid acceleration of the digital economy, and much needed foreign direct investment into the sub-region.
The combination of the strong regional presence of Medallion, together with Digital Realty’s continued investment in PlatformDIGITAL, the company’s global data centre platform – will support customers in Nigeria and the continent as they navigate digital transformation strategies and the complexities of rapidly growing demand, the need for global coverage, and additional capacity.
Digital Reality had earlier this week in its attempt to foray significantly into the African datacenter market, which many analysts and industry watchers described as untouched, announced the investment of $500million into the African datacenter ecosystem with a huge part of the investment going into the Nigerian market.
The investment is through a joint venture with the Pembani Remgro Infrastructure Fund. Also, as part of the transaction, the joint venture is also acquiring a land parcel adjacent to the hitherto Medallion Lagos data centre to provide near-term expansion capacity with Medallion’s management team, led by CEO and Co-Founder Engr. Ikechukwu Nnamani still leading the business.
Speaking on the investment, William Stein, Chief Executive Officer of Digital Realty, said there is a need to tap into the Africa’s expanding internet economy, noting that over the next decade, there will be huge opportunity for global businesses to tap into with predictions that it could reach 5.2 percent of the continent’s GDP by 2025, contributing nearly $180 billion to its economy up from $115 billion in 2020.
“Starting with Medallion Data Centres in Nigeria, Digital Realty aims to be a core enabler of African economy through major investment in the continent’s internet infrastructure, that serves over one billion people who do not yet have proper access to the benefits of internet,” he said.
William disclosed that the expansion of Digital Realty into the African internet infrastructure is a leap forward but it is just the start of a $500 million commitment to investment in the continent over the next decade, stressing Digital Realty sees a huge opportunity to underpin Africa’s expanding internet economy and ultimately, play a central role in its growth.
This makes the first time a global pure real estate investment trust (REIT) will be entering the country and beats rivals including Equinix (NASDAQ: EQIX), CyrusOne (NYSE: CONE), and CoreSite Realty (NYSE: COR) on entrance into the market. The presence of REITs like Digital Realty in any country is the first step towards the establishment of local content and infrastructure by global hyperscale service providers whose services digitally transform the country of operation.