The government of Niger has launched a digital transformation plan as part of the Trans-Sahara Optic Fiber Backbone Project. The project’s overall objective is to contribute to an effective improvement of connectivity at a regional level and to the reduction of telecommunications costs. It is within this context that the government asked Sofrecom to investigate the construction of a national data center to:
- host government applications and digital public services in a secured environment offering a high level of quality of service
- propose services to enterprises – such as server hosting - to monetize part of the available space.
Audit of the current situation and assessment of future needs
Our consultants first analyzed the existing digital services (e-health, e-agriculture, …) and infrastructures (network, security, servers, storage,…) and estimated their future evolution according to the country’s digital strategy and ambitions. They were able to define the required size and physical security of the future data center.
On the basis of this first piece of work, our consultants articulated precise specifications. The characteristics of the future data center included:
- the design of the building
- civil engineering : outdoor and indoor plans and the building’s characteristics
- rooms urbanization
- electrical layout, cooling, etc.
- safety features (fire, etc.)
- the IT and network layout
- maps of the information systems and networks inside the data center
- quantities and features of recommended equipment
- data security: physical separation, infrastructure redundancy, on-site backup, data encryption, ….
Search and selection of the construction site
In parallel, our consultants evaluated the sites proposed by the government to build the data center. To reach Tier III+ level, the selected site had to meet geographical and geological conditions that would enable its transmission infrastructures and energy supply sources to be redundant. The site also had to minimize risks of natural disasters (flooding, earthquake …) or human risks (proximity to an airport, a chemical plant …)
Drafting of the RFP
Our consultants used the specifications defined for the detailed design to draft a comprehensive RFP that will enable the government of Niger to select the most suitable providers of equipment and services for this project.
It was essential that this project contribute truly to the country’s development, without compromising on the well-being of its citizens. Our consultants therefore took care to include environmental and societal requirements in this RFP.
One of the State’s objectives is to leverage this investment to generate revenues through the commercialization of services such as cloud-based storage or applications.
Our experts assessed the B2B market in Niger as well as the data center services already available. They then defined the services that the Government could propose to enterprises, estimated potential volumes and value, and proposed a business plan.
Lastly, our consultants defined the support plan required to successfully complete the project. They proposed a detailed planning and actions to perform in priority. They defined the governance. They also quantified the necessary resources, both financial and human, to pilot this project during the construction of the data center as well as to adequately manage operations during the run phase.
The government of Niger now has all the necessary information to launch an RFP, select partners and efficiently manage the construction and launch of its national data center.