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Rack Centre to create West Africa’s largest data centre in $100m expansion

Rack Centre’s expansion programme will increase capacity to a total net lettable white space of 6000 square metres.

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Leading carrier neutral data centre operator in West Africa, Rack Centre, has announced an expansion programme that will increase capacity to a total net lettable white space of 6000 square metres, which will pave way for 13MW of  IT power capacity in its Lagos campus.

This was disclosed in a press release by the company, which was seen by Our source.

The expansion is expected to bring carrier neutral scale to West Africa, and this is in response to increasing demand for data centre space from cloud uptake, telecommunication investment and outsourcing of IT facilities by enterprises in the region.

The funding for this expansion will come from a $250m pan-African data centre platform, established by Actis and Convergence Partners, a leading ICT infrastructure investor in Africa.

In addition to the expansion in  Rack Centre, the platform is also actively developing additional buy and build opportunities across Africa, to establish a network of carrier neutral data centres aimed at catering to carrier, cloud and hyperscale customers.

Back story:  It is noteworthy that on March 2020, in a bid to pave way for the expansion programme, Actis, a London private equity firm, announced an investment in Rack Centre, taking a controlling stake in the business alongside Jagal.

Why this matters

Nigeria is a key entry point for global telecommunications, content, and cloud players seeking access to the region. Despite the potentials of the country; with 138 million internet subscribers, more than any country in Africa or Europe, and the largest population and GDP in Africa, a lack of cost-effective, energy-efficient IT infrastructure, has been a constraint to doing business in the region.

However, in a bid to create unrestricted connectivity between customers, telecommunication carriers, and internet exchange points within its data centres in the region, as a unique scale carrier neutral player, Rack Centre brings global best practice to Nigeria, as the first carrier neutral data centre in the region, to achieve Uptime Institute Tier III Certification of Constructed Facility (TCCF).

The global leaders that the platform has engaged include:

  • Tim Parsonson, Co-founder, Teraco Data Environments – the largest carrier neutral operator in Africa, who joins the Board as Chairperson on the board.
  • Frank Hassett, a veteran of the global data centre industry and previous Vice President of Infrastructure, at Equinix, brings over 1300MW of build and operate experience, to assist with hyperscale expansion.

While speaking on the expansion of capacity, Andile Ngcaba, Chairman of Convergence Partners, said;  “Africa is at the start of a critical time in its development, as the 4th industrial revolution offers the chance to leapfrog many of Africa’s challenges, and harness the immense potential of its people. Convergence Partners is delighted to partner with Actis in accelerating the growth of high quality data centre infrastructure, an indispensable part of the foundation of this revolution in the region.”

Dr Ayotunde Coker, Managing Director of Rack Centre, emphasized that the group is proud of the quality and scale bar which they have set in the region.

“We are proud of the quality and scale bar we have set in the region and are scaling to be the de-facto digital data hub for West Africa

“Mass adoption of digital working models and content distribution is driving growing investment in the region and Rack Centre offers a world class location to house these IT and telecoms facilities,” Coker said.

Supporting this ambition, engineering consultancy Arup, have been appointed for the project.  The leadership status of Arup is uncontested,  having designed over 2,000MW of IT capacity for industry-leading tech giants, and co-location providers across the globe.

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FG launches application for N75 billion Youth Investment Fund at 5% interest, how to apply

FG has flagged off the application for the N75 billion Nigeria Youth Investment Fund.

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The Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, on Thursday, October 15, 2020, flagged off the application for the N75 billion Nigeria Youth Investment Fund (NYIF) recently approved by the Federal Government.

During the launch of the application, the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, said that the NYIF underscored the importance placed on youths by the current administration.

The Minister said that the fund, which is an initiative of the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development and funded by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), would be spread over 3 years to cater to youth-owned businesses and investment needs.

Sunday Dare stated, “I must mention the support we enjoyed from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), which in line with the President’s directive, provided the initial N12.5 billion required for the Fund to operate in the remaining part of the year 2020.

“We are also grateful that the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning has on its part, committed to providing the next tranche of the fund in the 2021 budget.’

The Minister said that the loan, provided under the NYIF, has an interest rate of 5% per annum and a tenor of 5 years with a moratorium of up to 12 months.

He explained that any youth who wished to apply as an individual or a non-registered business could draw up to N250,000, while youth-owned registered businesses could apply for up to N3 million.

Going further, he said, “Our commitment to seeing the youth succeed is such that the loan is bundled with training that will ensure business sustainability for successful applicants.

“It is my belief that the fund will grow to become a permanent feature of our society, where beneficiaries run successful businesses and repay the loans.”

The Minister said that application is available on the Nigeria Youth Investment Fund Application Portal on NIRSAL Microfinance Bank’s site, www.nmfb.com.ng; and the ministry’s website, www.youthandsport.gov.ngor www.noya.ng.

Applicants are expected to provide their Names, Email address, and Website (if available).

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CBN says Nigerian Youth Investment Fund is coming soon

Youth Fund is dedicated to investing in the innovative ideas, skills, and enterprise of the Nigerian Youth.

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The Central Bank of Nigeria has announced that its Nigeria Youth Investment Fund (NYIF) will soon be disbursed.

The apex bank made the announcement via its Twitter handle on Thursday while the nation marks its 60th Independence anniversary.

Meanwhile, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Sport and Youth Development, Gabriel Aduda, explained that the Youth Fund is dedicated to investing in the innovative ideas, skills, talents and enterprise of the Nigerian Youth and aimed at turning them into Enterprenuers, Wealth Creators and Employers of labour contributing to national development.

According to him, the President Buhari-led Federal Government considers Nigerian youth as resources to be harnessed and not a problem, hence the initiation of this Fund.

He said, “The Fund will serve as a catalyst to unleash the potential of the youth and enable many of them build businesses that will employ and in turn empower others.

“A multiplier effect of economic expansion and growth required to thrive in an increasingly competitive and connected world where adding value is the only sustainable pathway to success is expected to be achieved.

How it works

* A minimum of N25 billion each year in the next 3 years, totaling N75 billion will be required to ring-fence the NYIF. For the remaining part of 2020 an initial sum of N12.5 billion will be needed to kick start the NYIF. It is expected that successive governments will keep the Fund, akin to a Youth Bank, alive.

*  The Nigerian Youth Investment Fund (NYIF) is a ringfenced Fund that will strictly cater to the investment needs of persons between the ages of 18 and 35 years old. It is a restricted Fund that can only be used for the set purpose of Youth Investment.

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FG working out plans to stabilize revenue – Zainab Ahmed

The Minister said the government revenue will be stabilized to restore adequate fiscal space.

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The Minister of Finance, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, declared that the present administration, in a bid to set the economy on the path of growth and economic sustainability is working out plans to stabilize revenue.

This statement is contained in her Independence Day message to Nigerians, which was released to the mainstream via her official Twitter handle, to commemorate the Independence Day celebrations.

Mrs. Zainab Ahmed emphasized that the present administration is working out ways and means in which government revenue will be stabilized to restore adequate fiscal space, in a bid to fund the Federal Government and the States through the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC).

The Minister stated that in line with the president’s mandate, a committee was set-up to ensure that the business of the government continues to run as normally as possible, with government agencies considerably funded.

However, Mrs. Ahmed noted that the COVID-19 pandemic has slowed economic activities and growth, and this continues to mount pressure on output across various sectors of the economy, she emphasized that the present administration is committed to providing critical infrastructures and enhancing inclusive growth through policies, programmes and projects that will stimulate job creation in the country.

She said, “Despite the challenges of COVID-19, the government has continued to invest in critical infrastructures like roads, rail and electric power to ensure continuous growth hinged on programmes and projects that will enhance employment of large percentage of our youth.”

In like manner, Mrs. Ahmed addressed the sentiments regarding the recent restrictions and the policy decisions of the government in her Independence Day address. She reiterated that the unexpected public health emergency caused by the COVID-19, coupled with the drop in oil revenue from the ebbing economic activity made the government to take difficult decisions, in a bid to keep the economy afloat at a critical time as this.

As the journey has been a mixture of challenges and successes, she remarked that despite the challenges, there are myriads of opportunities ahead of the nation.

She admonished that Nigeria belongs to all of us, and we have to appreciate our differences and forge ahead to build a united prosperous nation.

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