Phase One of Ghana’s $30 million Data Centre

The first phase of Ghana’s $30 million Data Centre and Wide Area Network (WAN) project which is over 95% complete will be ready by the end of July 2011, an official of the National Information Technology Agency (NITA) has said.

The project is financed with a loan from China.

The infrastructure when completed will link all governmental agencies together on one platform, Mr Solomon Richardson, Infrastructure Officer at the NITA told in an exclusive interview.

“Both the Data Centre and the WAN are 98% and 95% complete respectively”, Mr Richarson said, “Latest by July this year both will be launched together,” he added.

He indicated that the scope of the project is in every region and a few identified towns such as Tarkwa, Nkawkaw, Obuasi and Winneba where the national fibre optic backbone goes through.

He said this will bring schools, hospitals and other government agencies such as the Immigration Service, Police unto the network platform in order to share the ICT infrastructure where they are located.

He however indicated that the data centre will be housed at a temporary place he didn’t name, till the permanent place cited for the centre, somewhere around the Kofi Annan ICT Centre in Accra. The building, he said, will be ready in two years time.

The scope of the Phase I is small, Mr Richardson said, and so the Ghana government has secured another $150 million loan from the Chinese government to expand the project to all District capitals and towns.

“Phase II starts this year and will be completed in two years time after finalising the technical documents”, he said.

According to him, Chinese telecommunications company Huawei Technology is NITA’s implementation partner.

“These facilities will be supported by a Network Operating Centre (to provide monitoring and control over all applications and network services originating in the data centre infrastructure), NITA said in a factsheet made available at the just ended Second Ghana Policy Fair.

The project  also features a Security Operating Centre (to serve as the nucleus of the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) intranet and Internet Security Operations) and several Storage Area Networks (which will provide for the storage needs of all the MDAs that will be hosted on the data centre)

The project will be supported, operated and maintained by NITA on behalf of all the MDAs.