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Airtel Africa Expands with First Data Center in Nigeria

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Airtel Africa, a telecommunications and mobile money services provider, has started building its first data center in Lagos, Nigeria.

Nxtra by Airtel aims to establish one of Africa’s largest networks of data centers, strategically positioned in major cities across Airtel Africa’s footprint, complementing existing edge sites. This initiative underscores the company’s dedication to meeting Africa’s burgeoning data management needs, ensuring reliable and sustainable data center capacity to support the continent’s rapidly expanding digital economy.

The groundbreaking ceremony for the new data center, located on Lagos’s Victoria Island, was presided over by Airtel Africa’s outgoing Group Chief Executive Officer, Segun Ogunsanya, and his successor, Sunil Taldar. Distinguished guests including Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, and Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Bosun Tijani, among others, graced the occasion.

Segun Ogunsanya, Group CEO of Airtel Africa, emphasized the significance of the Nxtra project in the company’s growth strategy, “We strongly believe that the establishment of NXtra Data Centers will enhance data sovereignty, security, and preservation within the continent, reflecting our commitment to make Nigeria a major hub for access to digital services as we propel Africa towards a sustainable and inclusive digital age.”

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu hailed the Nxtra Frontier as a catalyst for revolutionizing data control, security, and preservation in Africa, applauding Airtel’s commitment to pioneering advancements in data management and technological innovation.

Dr. Bosun Tijani, Minister of Communications, Innovation, and Digital Economy, highlighted the transformative opportunities presented by data centers like Nxtra and technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), underscoring the critical role of data in driving economic growth and participation in the digital economy.

The Nxtra by Airtel data center in Lagos is projected to deliver 38 megawatts of total power capacity, featuring high-density racks and state-of-the-art construction practices to achieve optimal energy efficiency. Expected to go live by the first quarter of 2026, this facility marks the first of five hyperscale data centers to be developed by Airtel Africa on the continent, with a combined capacity of 180 megawatts distributed across multiple data centers.

Through locally available data center capacity, Nxtra by Airtel aims to enhance access to digital services, reduce data management costs, spur innovation, and support the growth of African tech talent, while enabling customers to meet data sovereignty requirements and expand local cloud services offerings.

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