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$100m Data Centre investment in Lagos – Strive Masiyiwa

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Photo Credit : Trevor Juul/ Zim News Online

This week marked the start of the construction of our first major Data Centre facility in Lagos, Nigeria, named the ADC Atlantic, a US$100m investment in the Nigerian economy, says Strive Masiyiwa.

In the Data Centre world, this will be the largest facility outside South Africa.

Another major development for us this week was the approval of an investment of US$300m into this business by the United States government’s International Development Finance Corporation known as DFC. This money will allow us to expand our facilities in South Africa and Kenya, as well as build new facilities in Egypt, Ghana, and Morocco.

The Spirit filled believer and a billionaire business man says, “Data Centres are huge computer facilities which require massive cooling, so we must provide a lot of power to make them operate.”

ADC works with its sister company DPA which provides the power system using solar energy and natural gas.

As an entrepreneur here are some things for you to think about, says Strive:

1. As new opportunities emerge in your industry, are you able to spot them quickly enough to be one of the first?

2. Being able to pitch for investment is a skill you must develop because you will always need it. As I reflect on the $500m we raised this year for ADC, I cannot count the number of pitches that went into it. When you watch pitches like those of Africa’s Business Heroes, or SharkTank, it is not a game… This is the heartbeat of modern entrepreneurship. Take it seriously!

3. A few years ago, ADC was just a single facility in Nairobi, Kenya. It was not a company, but as my team and I watched what was happening we realised it should become a separate company. We hired experts from around the world, and brought them together. We then began to expand the business by inviting investors.

4. You must be persistent. This is our largest investment in Nigeria since the mobile industry started.

Once again, I’m kicking off a new revolution in the next phase of technology. What is important is not the Data Centres but the technologies that will be unleashed in Nigeria because of this infrastructure. That’s the BIG deal here!

From vision to execution can be a long road, but don’t lose heart or let this global pandemic slow you down.

Reflection:

Understanding what a Data Centre is extremely important:

As a Startup entrepreneur, or even medium sized company you will not need a Data Centre because the amount of data storage your company needs simply does not warrant it.

Data Centre facility is required by very large companies including banks, and Mobile Network Operators, oil companies and large manufacturers.

These companies already have huge computer facilities, and find it cheaper to move to our facility.

There are many African countries that have built Data Centres out of nationalistic desire to have one, only to find that there are no takers.

By the time we even begin to build such an expensive facility we have signed long term contracts with the companies that will use it.

In business we have businesses we call B2C meaning their products or services are for the general public.

Then we have B2B, meaning they sell products or services only to other businesses.
MTN is a B2C business.
ADC is a B2B.

Most mining companies are B2B because they don’t sell minerals like platinum to the man in the street.

Strive reply to Mike Adenuga: 

Mike Adenugba writes,

Nigerian Government will mess this up for you soon.

As beautiful as your idea is, Nigeria don’t deserve it…for now.

My reply,

You are on your way to become a very cynical person towards your own country. It makes me sad, but mostly for you.

I could not imagine myself being that cynical towards Africa. So what is there to live for?

But now let me tell you the truth:

I know more about investing in Nigeria than you, because I have been investing in Nigeria, at the highest level for nearly 20 years.

Yes Nigeria has its problems like all African countries, but these problems are there to be solved by Nigerians and other Africans like myself.

Many people who want to invest in Nigeria come to me. Why do you think they do that?
It’s because they know I have experience of investing there.

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