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Global IT firm to set up a multi-billion shillings data centre in Mwala

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 12- Atos Origin, an international IT services company, is set to construct a Sh28 billion data centre at the Mwale Medical and Technology City (MMTC) in Butere, Kakamega County.

The data centre is part of the Artificial Intelligence (AI) innovation district at the City, and is expected to be complete by end of next year, 2022 and will be one of the largest in the region.

The Atos Origin team led by the Senior project manager for SADC region Virgil Chetty, visited MMTC this week, to begin laying out the groundwork for the initial pilot-phase of the data Centre.

The phase entails the installation of the artificial intelligence system will be completed by September.

“We are building a large AI cluster focused on healthcare and agriculture. This will enable seamless operation of the currently open Hamptons hospital, as it positions to serve the Lake region economic Bloc, with 16 million people and the larger East African region,” Julius Mwale, the principal investor said.

In Johannesburg South Africa, a similar project by Teraco Data Environments valued at Sh26 billion was launched in November 2020.

Atos a French multinational, was ranked by a research firm Gartner as number 1 in Europe in 2020 in Cloud, Cybersecurity and high performance computing.

It came in the 2nd position worldwide in the market share for cybersecurity in the Gatner study.

According to Paul Martin, a director at KE International overseeing the AI Cluster implementation, said the entire AI cluster will cost USD1 billion (Sh100 billion), with phase one costing USD250 million (Sh25 billion).

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“We want MMTC AI Cluster to support our other African projects especially Akon City in Senegal and Uganda,” he said.

KE International was in June 2020 awarded the USD 6 billion ((Sh600 billion) contract for construction of Akon City in Senegal.

The MMTC project began in 2014 with expected completion of 3 phases at the end of June this year, 2021. Phase one consisted of a Hamptons Mall and Mwalmart supermarket among others.

The second phase however includes the Hamptons Hospital among others, while phase three has the technology park.

Effect AI a Netherlands company is teaming up with UNDP to run Kenyan opportunity hub that will train and fund 4,000 Kenyan entrepreneurs and engineers at the research park.

“We expect 10,000 engineering/ research and entrepreneurial job opportunities to be created at the innovation district directly from the establishment of the data center,” said Dr. Maurice Siminyu the CEO at Hamptons Hospital at MMTC.

He added that many local companies will receive enhanced data management by partnering with MMTC.

The Centre will turn Kenya into a global technology and innovation hub which will attract foreign direct investment from multinational companies.

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