Actis is planning to invest $250m (€225m) to buy and build data centres across key African markets.

The emerging-market investor said the newly created pan-African data centre platform completed its first investment with the acquisition of a controlling stake in Rack Centre in Nigeria.

Rack Centre owns and operates a data centre in Lagos. It has the largest installed capacity in West Africa hosting over 80 international, regional and local clients.

Actis said the Rack Centre investment will help fund the company’s data centre expansion.

Actis said EG Tim Parsonson, co-founder of Teraco, South Africa’s largest data centre company, is investing and joining the board as chairman.

David Morley, head of real estate at Actis, said: “We have been tracking the data centre market in Africa closely, building relationships with key operators and customers. Africa is at an inflection point and we expect to see an explosion in growth of demand for hosting capacity in independently owned data centres across the continent.

“We are excited about this new partnership with Rack Centre and its promoter Jagal Investments. Together they have built a strong business of international repute, hosting a compelling mix of customers ranging from leading Nigerian corporates to global cloud majors.”

Ayotunde Coker, managing director of Rack Centre, said: “Rack Centre is now at a key juncture and my team and I are excited with being part of the future growth.

”With over 750kW of installed capacity, it is now doubling capacity to 1.5MW of IT power at the current location on a trajectory to 10MW”

Maher Jarmakani, CEO of Jagal, said: “Jagal is excited with its new partnership with Actis. Rack Centre has developed into a leading and respected African brand and it is now at a critical stage for investment and growth.

“Actis understands global and emerging markets and will be a fantastic partner for the next phase of the Rack Centre journey.”