The government of Malawi has inaugurated its first national data centre, which will enable the country to take advantage of the fourth industrial revolution and emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, digital financial services, and the Internet of Things (IoT), among others.
The data centre was built in Malawi’s second largest city Blantyre, in partnership with Chinese tech giant Huawei.
“This data centre is a critical building block in the digital future Malawi is building, and will enable the government to cut down costs by enhancing coordination between different projects, and better manage and secure data that is critical for decision making and the implementation of many programs,” explained Malawi’s President, Lazarus Chakwera.
The construction of the data centre is part of Malawi’s efforts to leverage technology as a development tool. According to the Minister of Digital Transformation Gospel Kazako, the infrastructure will help the country meet new market and customer demands by expanding access to ICT in line with the national ICT master plan.
“Through this National Data Centre, we can guarantee security information to those we invite to invest in our manufacturing, financial, retail, and service sectors, thus making Malawi a location of choice for investors,” Chakwera added.
The government’s initiative comes against a backdrop of increased growth in the African data centre market. This growth has been driven by accelerating digital transformation and the resulting high demand for broadband connectivity and cloud services in Africa.
Huawei Southern Africa Region President, Leo Chen, said: “Malawi places ICT as an enabler for economic growth as highlighted in the Malawi 2063 (MW2063), that the country “shall have robust ICT infrastructure with cross country coverage of reliable and affordable services fostering technological adoption and digital access.”
To capitalize on the opportunities offered by the digital industry, governments are increasing their infrastructure investments. According to Arizton Advisory and Intelligence, investment in the African data centre market is expected to reach US$5.4 billion by 2027.