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Liquid Telecom and Strathmore Business School to Drive Africa’s Data Revolution

  Jan 25, 2018

Strathmore Africa Analytics Data Centre will be hosted at East Africa Data Centre (EADC) in Nairobi where it will provide businesses with data analytics services  

Leading Pan-African telecoms group Liquid Telecom, a subsidiary of Econet Global, has partnered with Strathmore Business School (SBS), the graduate business school of Strathmore University, to launch a new data analytics centre focused on data-driven research and practices for African businesses.

Under the partnership, Liquid Telecom will provide the new Strathmore Africa Analytics Data Centre with dedicated rack space and colocation services at East Africa Data Centre (EADC); the region’s largest and only Tier III certified data centre.

Liquid Telecom will also establish a direct fibre link between the SBS campus and EADC in Nairobi, which will facilitate data analytic services such as data mining, predictive analysis and exploratory data analysis.

“Strathmore envision a Data Centre that will cultivate Data analytics to help executive entrepreneurs and Government make data driven decisions. We feel it’s a moral duty to include the new data modules into the entire curriculum of our University,” says Dr George Njenga, Dean Strathmore Business School.

Over the years Strathmore University with a student population of over 8000 has become one of the most respected private universities in the region, well recognized for trailblazing in ICTs and innovations through @iLabAfrica and @iBizAfrica. The institution has signed partnerships with top universities all over the world such as Harvard, IESE Business School in Spain, New York University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and Columbia Universities among others.

Strathmore Business School already works with a range of high-profile public and private organisations including Microsoft, IBM, Google, Deloitte, World Bank and the Kenyan government, which will now be better served through the additional capabilities of the new data analytics centre. And it is the only academic institution that is a member of the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data (GPSDD).

Liquid Telecom will support SBS as it looks to grow its customer base, enabling businesses in the region to tap into the growing opportunities presented by Big Data, while establishing Nairobi as a centre of innovation, excellence and training for data analytics.

“A data revolution is coming to Africa, bringing with it the need for new skills and infrastructure to help businesses unlock the true potential of Big Data. By providing Strathmore Business School with access to our world-class facilities at EADC, we hope to provide a platform for innovation in analytics as well as develop joint solutions to some of the challenges being presented by large volumes of data on consumers,” said Dan Kwach, General Manager at EADC.

“Businesses in Africa now have a lot of data about their customers and their buying behaviour. So far a lack of skills in data science has prevented businesses from using that

Data for strategic decision making. Through this partnership, Liquid Telecom and SBS will help provide companies with the tools and learning they need to achieve real improvements in performance,” said Ben Roberts, Group Chief Technology and Innovation Officer (CTIO) at Liquid Telecom.

According to analyst firm IDC, global spending for big data and business analytics hardware, software and services is expected to grow from $150.8 billion in 2017 to $210 billion by 2020. As businesses rush to mine the world’s data, new privacy and regulatory issues are emerging that must also be considered in data-driven research and practices.

Increasing collaboration between industry and academia will be key to both unlocking the opportunities and addressing the challenges of Big Data in Africa.

Formed in in 2005 through a partnership between Strathmore University and IESE Business School, SBS has become an academic leader in ICT and innovation for East Africa, and is the only academic institution to be a member of the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data; a global network dedicated to using the data revolution to achieve sustainable development goals.

The Strathmore Africa Analytic Data Centre aims to develop a world class environment for training, skills enhancement and application of data in Africa policy, innovation and business decision-making.

“Through our partnership with Liquid Telecom and access to world-class facilities at EADC, students at SBS will be able to harness the power of new technologies to solve some of the region’s oldest problems, demonstrating the power of partnership in the era of the data revolution,” said Rosemary Okello-Orlale- Director of the Africa Media Hub at SBS. “We also hope to spread data driven development to the poorest and most remote communities, improving outcomes for all.”

Additional information:  

  • Liquid Telecom is also driving adoption of data science through its involvement with the DataHack for Financial Inclusion (DataHack4FI) competition; an initiative by insight2impact (i2i) focused on using data science to improve financial inclusion. Liquid Telecom is offering free high-speed internet access and cloud-based services throughout the competition, as well as providing experts to advise entrants on how to make best use of Liquid Telecom products and services.
  • Liquid Telecom is currently expanding its award-winning East Africa Data Centre in Nairobi, Kenya, which houses 2,000 square metres of secured space for data servers over four floors. Along with further expansion of its two state-of-the-art data centres in Johannesburg and Cape Town, Africa Data Centres are home to fibre routes of many major carriers, MNOs, cloud service providers and financial institutions.
  • Last year Strathmore Business School established The Africa Media Hub to develop professional skills among the existing and up-coming journalists, communications experts and other professionals in providing in-depth data analysis, ambitious experts coverage of critical issues related to the global economy and business using data visualization. In partnership with Synergy System, SBS is revolutionizing Business Journalism in the region through the development of a portal for capturing and analyzing annual financial reports live on trading data at the Nairobi Stock Exchange (NSE), historical performance of the NSE with over 10 years of trading data. This rich data would will be additional analysis by the able faculty at Strathmore provide the perfect tool for the business journalists in the region.
  • Strathmore University is in the final discussion with Global Partnership for Sustainable Data (GPSDD), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOs) the founding partner in the Open Data Cube (ODC) to host the Africa Regional Data Cubes (ARDC) that will support 5 African Countries namely: Kenya, Sierra Leone, Ghana and Tanzania. The ARDC will support a number of key users including Government Institutions, National Statistical Agencies, Geographic Institutions, and Research Scientists. The main objective is to build capacity of users in the region to apply Earth Observations (EO) satellite data to address local and national need as well as meet the objectives of the United Nations Sustainable Development.

About Liquid Telecom

Liquid Telecom is a leading communications services and solutions provider across 13 countries in Eastern, central and Southern Africa that serves carrier, enterprise and retail customers with high-speed, reliable connectivity and digital services.

It has built Africa’s largest independent fibre network, spanning over 50,000km, and operates state-of-the-art data centres in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Nairobi, with a combined 6,800 square metres of rack space.

This is in addition to leading cloud-based services, such as Microsoft Office365 and Microsoft Azure, and innovative digital content provision, including Netflix, NBA, TED and Kwese Play.

Through this combined offering, Liquid Telecom is enhancing customers’ experience on their digital journey.


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