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Senegal opens first National Data Center

President Macky Sall, on Tuesday 22 June 2021, officially put into service the Tier 3 Senegalese Data Centre built in…

President Macky Sall, on Tuesday 22 June 2021, officially put into service the Tier 3 Senegalese Data Centre built in Diamniadio, on the outskirts of Dakar.By Ibrahima Dione

Through this center, Senegal has entered a new era. 

Thanks to a loan from China, the country has built a data centre with a capacity of 1,000 terabytes on a one-hectare site. 

In his speech to the nation on 3 April, President Sall had declared it “a great revolution for the digital sovereignty” of his country.

Right from the outset, he explained his presence at the inauguration ceremony by the “special interest” he has in “this major achievement of Senegal’s Digital Strategy 2025.” 

Through this strategy, the Senegalese leader aims to achieve “digital technology for all and all uses.”

Convinced that this sector is “the future of the world,” Macky Sall identified four areas to make the most of it, “open and affordable access to the digital network and services; a connected administration at the service of citizens and businesses; the promotion of an innovative digital industry that creates value; and the dissemination of digital technology in priority economic sectors.”

He stressed that the Diamniadio Data Centre presents a “tremendous opportunity to create jobs and services for the private sector,” provided that “a synergy of actions” is created.

Previously, Senegal only had a storage capacity of 1,500 terabytes. 

The construction of the data centre is part of the government’s desire to ensure Senegal’s  “digital sovereignty.” 

To this end President Sall has instructed  state services “to host all their data” by conducting a “rapid migration” of data stored abroad and in national structures that do not meet security standards.

The new data centre is connected to the state’s optical fiber. 

The Agence de l’Informatique de l’Etat (State Computer Science Agency, ADIE), which supervised the project, plans to connect it to the international submarine cable, the aim being to strengthen Senegal’s Internet capacity.

According to Cheikh Bakhoum, the Director General of ADIE, “more than 100 Gigas will be available by the end of 2021.” 

He said better still, this flow is expandable to 16 terabytes. 

With the slogan “mastering our data, mastering our future,” the head of ADIE maintained that Senegal is now “autonomous” in this area. 

The technological infrastructure, located in the new city created by President Sall, makes Senegal the first in West Africa. 

It is characterized by “almost 1,000 square meters of technical rooms and 1.4 megawatts of energy.”

 Moulaye Gueye, the mayor of Diamniadio, stressed that local authorities now have “a great opportunity to improve the services offered to citizens who are often confronted with the slowness of administrative procedures.”

A future data centre in the central city of Kaolack is to be built in the next few years to enable Senegal position itself as “a key player” in data hosting on the African continent.

On behalf of Senegalese start-ups, Magatte Sylla declared that young companies would benefit from “an ultra high-performance tool for storing and analyzing the data” that they produce and collect in the course of their activities.

 

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