Republic of Congo Commits $72.8M to Advanced Data Center Project

What’s this about?

  • The Republic of the Congo is building a state-of-the-art data centre in Brazzaville, funded by a €66.55 million investment from the African Development Bank and the Congolese government, to serve as the national data hub and enhance digital infrastructure.
  • The project includes laying 600 kilometres of fibre optic cable to connect Congo with Cameroon and the Central African Republic, aiming to boost digital sovereignty and security by keeping sensitive data within national borders.
  • Scheduled for completion by December 2024, the data centre will support various digital applications and contribute to a digital circular economy, improving Congo’s economic competitiveness and communication infrastructure.

Zoom in…

The Republic of the Congo is undertaking an ambitious project to erect a cutting-edge, three-story data centre in Brazzaville’s Bacongo district, slated to serve as the national data hub.

This initiative aims to securely store and process the digital data crucial for the country’s advancement in digital infrastructure. Funded by the African Development Bank, this centre will soon become the focal point for Congo’s digital operations, housing various applications vital for the nation’s development.

What they are saying…

Coordinator of the Central Africa Fibre-Optic Backbone project, Michel Ngakala underscores the significance of this endeavour, noting Congo’s imminent status as the sole Central African country with its own data centre.

With a hefty investment of €66.55 million (€52.47 million from AfDB and €14.50 million from the Congolese government), the project encompasses laying 600 kilometers of fiber optic cable, linking Congo with Cameroon and the Central African Republic via the Congo River,” The officer noted.

Mr Ngakala highlights the project’s impact on Congo’s digital sovereignty, stressing the need for data control within the country’s borders.

Ngakala sees the data centre as a cornerstone of Congo’s digital security strategy, citing the need to mitigate cybersecurity risks associated with offshore data storage. He illustrates the impact through examples like the Postal and Telecommunications Ministry’s digital identification project, which will store data domestically, enhancing data security.

This project will cement the country’s digital sovereignty, because we cannot claim to be sovereign when our data, even the most sensitive data, is stored outside our territory, in foreign countries, with real risks of misuse, violation or massive leaks.”

Once completed by December 2024, the data centre will feature server rooms, monitoring facilities, and meeting spaces, providing a comprehensive infrastructure for digital operations.

Chief ICT Specialist at the African Development Bank, Samatar Omar Elmi emphasizes the broader implications of the project, envisioning a digital circular economy that fosters local value creation.

The issue of data location has been gaining momentum across Africa in recent years, especially where sensitive data is concerned. The availability of locally produced data will pave the way for a virtuous circle of local value creation that will benefit the entire digital ecosystem (public, private, etc.) in our countries. These are the initial stages of a digital circular economy that will contribute to the low-carbon development of our continent.”

Additionally, Sié Antoine-Marie Tioyé, the Bank’s country economist in Congo, highlights the project’s potential to enhance Congo’s economic competitiveness by improving communication infrastructure.

This project will “help improve the competitiveness of Congo’s economy in terms of factor costs because communication is a major factor in economic development.”

The Big picture

Upon completion, the data center will be managed by a delegate, responsible for its operations, marketing, and maintenance. This project reflects the partnership between Congo and the African Development Bank, illustrating the Bank’s commitment to infrastructure development in the country.

In addition to the data centre, the Bank has funded several road infrastructure projects in Congo, showcasing its diverse investment portfolio in the country.

“As of April 2024, the Bank’s active projects in Congo totalled $411.62 million, covering various sectors including transport, governance, agriculture, telecommunications, and social development.”


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