Leading the Digital Frontier: iXAfrica’s Rapid Growth and Vision for East Africa’s Digital Future

Snehar Shah, CEO of iXAfrica, shares how he led the company to become East Africa’s largest data center provider in just nine months. He highlights their mission to deliver hyperscale and AI-ready solutions, details ongoing expansions, and discusses how Kenya’s regulatory environment influences local data storage trends.

“Over the past nine months, I have been leading iXAfrica, which has rapidly grown to become the largest data center company in East Africa. Our mission is to become East Africa’s leading infrastructure provider, specifically focusing on hyperscale and AI-ready solutions. We are dedicated to building high-quality, high-availability infrastructure. We have completed the first phase of our data center, and we are currently in advanced discussions to bring on board large clients to fully utilize this initial capacity. In the coming years, we plan to expand further in response to growing demand. We have laid out plans for additional phases at our current site, and we have also secured an option for a new site about 13 kilometers from Nairobi. This new location, where we are looking to acquire 11 acres, will host a 53-megawatt facility. This expansion aligns with the growing momentum in the region, exemplified by Microsoft’s recent announcement of a billion-dollar investment in Kenya to develop AI infrastructure, leveraging our clean energy resources. With our expertise, investment, and relationships, we aim to be integral to this ecosystem, providing essential infrastructure to local cloud players”, says Snehar Shah.

“Kenya is uniquely positioned due to its advanced regulatory environment. We have robust data sovereignty and protection regulations aligned with European GDPR standards, which require companies to store and manage data locally. This regulation is driving increased demand for local data centers like ours. Moreover, as applications become more sophisticated, we are seeing a shift from companies managing their server rooms on-premises to migrating their data and applications to the cloud, especially during COVID. While much of this data has traditionally been stored outside the region, the new data residency and lower latency requirements are prompting a reverse migration, with data now moving back to local centers. Our data centers are poised to benefit from this trend. Our mission is to capitalize on these growing trends and emerge as a market leader, enabling the technological advancements we foresee over the next three, five, or ten years”, he adds.

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