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Cloud Exchange: Boosting Development in Africa Through ICT

By Glad Dibetso, Chief Executive Officer, Cloud Exchange West Africa Limited

As Africa expands its Information and Communications Technology (ICT) infrastructure to become a major player in the global market, digital transformation has unlimited potential to drive development in the region, boost economic growth and improve the quality of peoples’ lives.

Indeed, the process of digital transformation is well under way, and there has been drastic technological development over the last two decades. For instance, in 2005, Internet use within Africa stood at just 2.1 percent. Fast-forward to 2018 and that figure has risen to 24.4 percent.

But merely getting people online is not enough. If Africa is to truly compete on a global scale, ICT penetration across the entire continent is essential. The African Union has recognized as much and made it a priority. Indeed, ICT development is key pillar of Agenda 2063, the Union’s blueprint for making Africa a global powerhouse, and it is seen as a route to increasing GDP, competing internationally, and improving the lives of citizens. The aim of Agenda 2063 is to ensure that ICT penetration and its contribution to real GDP in absolute terms will be double the level of 2013 by 2063. In short, deploying advanced ICT to drive digital transformation throughout Africa is of critical importance.

Supporting ICT Penetration with Cloud Solutions

In this environment, there is a golden opportunity for a powerful cloud provider to emerge, and with support from Huawei, this is the role that Cloud Exchange West Africa Limited wants to play. And, based in Nigeria — the continent’s largest economy and a center for technological investment — we believe that we are ideally positioned.

Formerly known as Dimension Data Nigeria Limited, dedicated to implementing advanced ICT throughout West Africa, we have become the region’s leading cloud service provider. We are devoted to supporting clients across public, private, and hybrid cloud environments and also provide managed and data center services, as well as systems integration.

One of our most significant projects to date has been the construction of the first Uptime Design and Construction Certified Tier-4 data center in the West Africa region. This data center is equipped with colocation services (all-in-one servers available for rent) and interconnects (infrastructure that connects data centers) and serves as the foundation of our Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) platform. This platform allows us to serve clients across West Africa, and we have plans for further expansion. We decided to partner with Huawei on the data center project, proudly becoming a Huawei Value-Added Partner (VAP).

Benefitting from Huawei’s Constant Innovation

Choosing to partner with Huawei was an easy decision. Huawei is constantly innovating, and it is at the forefront of solutions that drive digital transformation. From intelligent video surveillance, to storage and wireless products, Huawei offers it all. But it’s not just the solutions available that set Huawei apart from other Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs); it’s the ongoing support the company provides, before, during, and after solutions are deployed.

Since the partnership began, Huawei has demonstrated its commitment to serving West Africa, with a fully staffed office that employs over 700 Nigerian staff. This close proximity to customers allows extremely efficient support and service delivery. By investing in the skills and capabilities of Nigerian employees, and by establishing offices throughout the country, Huawei has built a good market reputation, while enterprises are confident in Huawei’s technology on their path to digital transformation.

Thanks to Huawei’s training materials, Cloud Exchange is the partner with the highest number of Huawei-certified professionals in Africa. When an enterprise decides to undergo digital transformation — a process that is becoming increasingly critical — having such a solid team behind them is imperative.

From pre-sales and sales enablement training, to professional and specialist certifications, Huawei provides a comprehensive variety of training opportunities. At Cloud Exchange, we have taken full advantage of these opportunities to gain insight into the available technologies and simplify our clients’ digital transformation journeys.

Another advantage of partnering with Huawei is that it encourages mutual partnerships by offering affordability, as evidenced by a recent all-flash promotion. This initiative enables businesses to reap the benefits of Solid State Drives (SSDs) at the same cost and capacity as optical Hard Disk Drives (HDDs). In doing so, enterprises are assured a 10-fold improvement in performance, up to five times higher reliability, and 70 percent lower energy consumption, while maintaining the same storage capacity at no extra cost.

As well as our Tier-4 data center, we are also focused on helping companies make the shift to cloud computing, using Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) and other hybrid tools, to connect existing infrastructure to cloud infrastructure — ensuring the continuous integration, development, and availability of infrastructure throughout the cloud migration journey. This helps in reducing service disruption for enterprises and these services are delivered through our dedicated DevSecOps engineering and consultancy team.

Building Tier 4 data centers and supporting cloud migration is important to us because, as West Africa’s leading cloud provider, we believe we have a duty to support Agenda 2063 and help achieve its transformational outcomes. And we are grateful that Huawei is partnering with us on this mission.

【Partner Card】

Cloud Exchange West Africa Limited, formerly known as Dimension Data Nigeria Limited (DDNG), is an end-to-end IT company that provides world-class solutions. Following strategic investment from Synergy Capital in 2017, the company became known as Cloud Exchange West Africa. The company has expanded its offerings by building the first Uptime certified Tier-4 data center in West Africa. It is now working toward the goal of being Nigeria’s best IT solution provider.

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