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Roko wins bid to construct multi-billion data centre in Namanve

Raxio director Robert Mullins (left) and Mark Koehler, Roko Construction managing director, exchange signed contracts

Raxio director Robert Mullins (left) and Mark Koehler, Roko Construction managing director, exchange signed contracts

Raxio Data Centre Ltd, Uganda’s first tier III carrier neutral data centre company, has selected Roko Construction Limited to undertake the civil works of its multi-billion data centre at Kampala Industrial Park in Namanve.

Roko emerged winner from a total of 6 companies that were invited to bid for the civil works in a competitive process that started late last year. The two firms formally signed the contracts at Raxio’s offices in Rwenzori Towers recently.

Robert Mullins and Brooks Washington, both Raxio directors and James Byaruhanga, the Raxio general manager signed on behalf of Raxio, while Mark Koehler and Willie Swanepoel the Roko managing director respectively signed on behalf of Roko.

Speaking moments after the signing, Robert Mullins said that the project has already received clearance from Mukono municipality as well as received an Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) approval certificate from National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) and that construction “is scheduled to start immediately”.

“We are in the process of selecting other contractors to handle electrical and other associated works. We expect to conclude this process soon. All in all we expect to go live by November 2019,” Mullins said.

The Raxio Data Centre is being developed to Tier III standards and will be the first truly carrier-neutral co-location facility of its standard and shall require an investment of approximately $15 million over its life-cycle.

The data centre was designed by Future-tech, a UK-based specialized data centre design company, and Symbion Uganda, part of Symbion Group, a leading-multinational architectural firm with over 35 years of heritage in East and Southern Africa.

“We are not leaving anything to chance; we have assembled the best teams and the best contractors and are now good to go,” said Mullins.

Recently, Raxio signed Hamilton Cloud Services (HCS), a company focused on providing local cloud services, as its first customer. Raxio also recently co-hosted an event with global ICT giant, Oracle Corporation that intends to provide state-of-the-art cloud services solutions within the Raxio data centre - a move, expected to lower the cost of computing for Ugandan businesses. 

Joachim Steuerwald, the Oracle Cloud Platform sales director for East Africa, said Raxio’s data centre was a stitch in time, saying: “Many of the data centres in the region are fairly old. Before Raxio decided to enter the market, we did not have any single tier III data centre in the region and that has been a significant constraint to achieve the kind of uptimes that a digital economy demands and that is why we’re interested in a partnership with Raxio.”

Reduced ICT costs

By enabling businesses to share critical infrastructure and related services, data centres are known to cut ICT related costs for businesses, while allowing them access to the latest technologies at flexible “pay as you grow” models, that are scalable as need arises.

86.4 per cent of IT managers working for Uganda government ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) recently surveyed by National Information Technology Authority (NITA), said that shared services offered in data centres, such as cloud services  significantly cut ICT related costs while 77.3 per cent hailed them for the increased productivity and flexibility amongst a host of other benefits. 

Dr Tumubweine Twinemanzi, the executive director supervision, at Bank of Uganda, also, recently challenged the financial services sector to adopt a shared technology services delivery model, so as to cut down on the cost of doing business and pass on those benefits to customers in form of reduced cost of lending.

© 2016 Observer Media Ltd