The International Data Center Authority (IDCA) hosted the Government of Ghana over the first weekend of June 2023, where they agreed on a strategic alliance and signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that calls for a multi-billion-dollar Digital Economy Roadmap, Digital Infrastructure National Standardization and Digital Infrastructure National Education program as well Digital Hub Devise, Deployment, and Investment over the course of 36 months.
The strategic alliance will focus on supporting Ghana’s journey to be a sustainable digital economy that improves people’s living standards, enabled by green digital infrastructure, an empowered digital workforce, and a vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem.
As part of the visit, the group was hosted by Loudoun County Economic Development, where the parties reviewed and discussed the potential of Ghana to transform itself into a Digital Economy. Executive Director Buddy Rizer, emphasized the role of the digital economy for the well-being of the citizens and residents of any city, county, state, or nation.
When asked about the relationship between IDCA and Loudoun County, Buddy Rizer stated, “IDCA is the Gold standard of our industry and they are what the leaders of our industry look up to and refer to as the benchmark of excellence and visionary approach to digital transformation, sustainable cloud, and modern data centers.”
The delegation was also hosted by PowerHouse Data Centers and Sabey Data Centers.
Members of the Ghana delegation led by Honorable Minister of Communications and Digitization to the United States Ursula Owusu-Ekuful included: Richard Okyere-Fosu, Director General of the National Information Technology Agency (NITA); Dr. Albert Antwi-Boasiako, Director General of the Ghana Cybersecurity Authority; Ibrahim Ismaela, Director of Operations, Vice President’s Office; William Annor Adu, Project Coordinator eTransform; Kwame Baah-Acheemfuor, Head of International Affairs-Ministry of Communications and Digitalisation; Abene Serwaah Brobbey, Administrative Manager, National Information Technology Agency (NITA); Gerard Nana Osei-Tutu, Deputy Director General of the National Signals Bureau (National Security); and Stallone Nyarko, Aide to the Honorable Minister.
The IDCA delegation included: Mehdi Paryavi, Board Chairman and CEO; Rich Banta, Chief Technology Officer; Frank Konieczny, Board Member and Technology Counsel; Jonathan C. Drimmer, Board Member and Human Rights Counsel; Solomon Edun, Head of Europe and Africa; Grant Webber, IDCA’s Representative for Africa; Kurtis Friesen, Head of North America; Dikran Kechichian, Chief Consultant, Auditor, and Instructor; G.H., Chief Commercial Officer; Roger Strukhoff, Chief Research Officer and Editor-in-Chief; Bruce Armstong Taylor, Board Member and Chief Media Officer; and Dr. N.L. Wright, Board Member and Strategy Counsel.
World’s largest concentration of data centers
The group gathered at the Loudoun County Economic Development office in Ashburn, VA, where they were greeted by Buddy Riser and his team. Executive Director Riser noted the astounding development of the region over the past 16 years, as it grew into the world’s most significant data center region.
“We now have 31 million square feet of facilities in this area,” he noted. “This is more than the next six largest data center regions in the world.”
In welcoming the group, Mehdi Paryavi pointed out Ghana’s existing status as well as its potential as a technology and Digital Infrastructure leader in West Africa and the African continent, highlighted by the presence of several of the most prominent data center operators in the world.
“At IDCA, we see nothing but potential and continued progress for Ghana,” he said. “The agreement between your government and IDCA is the nation’s ticket to the future to create a progressive Digital Economy throughout Ghana.”
Envisioning the African dream
Solomon Edun, IDCA Head of Europe and Africa, discussed “the African dream that everyone in this room has, and everyone on the continent also possesses. Working together, we will see how these dreams can come true and raise the living standard of all the people of Ghana and beyond.”
Richard Okyere-Fosu, Director General of the National Information Technology Agency (NITA), spoke for the Honorable Minister of the Ministry for Communications and Digitalisation, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful and the Ghana delegation.
“We were hosted by IDCA in this truly amazing visit that will eventually touch the lives every citizen of Ghana in a great way; signing this alliance between Ghana and IDCA is an immense opportunity not just for Ghana but also for world Internet powers to invest in Ghana,” he said.
“We were also able to witness the best of digital infrastructure that the world has to offer, and we are very happy to meet with so many people who understand our country’s development, potential, and dreams. We see today’s strategic alliance with IDCA as a significant necessary step in taking a forward leap for the economy and people of Ghana,” he added.
The combined group visited a construction site for a new hyperscale data center in the area, then visited the multi-tenant Ashburn facility operated by Sabey Data Centers. The group was afforded a firsthand experience of these facilities and their well-known cutting-edge technology and advanced infrastructure. Sabey has a current portfolio of more than four million square feet of mission-critical space, specializing in scalable, custom-built solutions, including data center-ready shell space as well as full turnkey data centers.
Wrap-up discussions over the weekend resulted in planned visits to Ghana by several members of the group and stressed the crucial importance of building the right safe and fertile ground for investments, the social and economic impacts, devising the right institutions and standards, developing educational programs to empower the human capital, safeguarding and preserving the environment with proper ESG disciplines and data security, rights, morality, and ethics that are required, plus a wide range of rigorous design and operational standards to be applied during Ghana’s journey to creating its Digital Economy.
“We can not only make Ghana a digital and innovation hub for all of Africa as we develop our initiatives,” said Okyere-Fosu, “but also highlight Ghana as a Digital Economy showcase for the world in terms of its sustainability and velocity.”
IDCA has been established to streamline, structure, educate and give direction to the information technology industry. IDCA’s core mission is to aid in standardizing the approach, selection, design, feasibility, operation, and various processes and methodologies of the Application Ecosystem®.
Formed by industry veterans who realized the problems facing the industry and decided to do something about it, IDCA has perceptively identified the gaps and shortcomings of the rapidly evolving cloud, AI, blockchain, cybersecurity, IoT, big data, and data center industry.
IDCA is the organization solely focused on the Application Ecosystem® which is inclusive of cloud, AI, blockchain, cybersecurity, IoT, big data, and data center, and more to conduct research, develop standards, provide education, and offer certification of the entire Application Ecosystem®, its components, infrastructure, and equipment as well as professionals.
IDCA works with its partners and affiliates around the globe to achieve the optimum delivery of its advanced services locally and effectively at every project. IDCA is represented in over 40 countries and active globally in North America, South America, Western Europe, Middle East, Eastern Europe, West Africa, North Africa, East Africa, Central, and South Africa, South East Asia, and the Asia Pacific.
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