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Ethiopia to be Africa's Hub for Data Mining

Ethiopia has entered into a preliminary agreement to expand its data mining and artificial intelligence training capabilities through a $250 million project. The country is positioning itself as a leader in the data centre space in Africa, which is estimated to grow to $5.4 billion by 2027, according to Aritzon Advisory and Intelligence and as reported by Forbes.

This initiative is in collaboration with a subsidiary of Hong Kong-based West Data Group, as announced by Ethiopian Investment Holdings (EIH), the country’s strategic investment arm. The move comes after Ethiopia became a popular destination for bitcoin mining following the government’s authorization of the practice in 2022 and aligns with the nation’s motive for expanding its inflow of foreign currency to mitigate its economic challenges .

According to Bloomberg, the country emerged a leading destination for bitcoin mining due to its abundant supply of cheap, renewable energy. Bitcoin mining, which involves solving complex algorithms with high electricity consumption, is drawn to Ethiopia which has the second-lowest power costs in the world. The decision aligns with Ethiopia’s energy profile, which boasts about 5,200 MW of installed generation capacity, predominantly from hydropower (90%), and the remainder from wind and thermal sources. Additionally, the country is nearing the completion of the Grand Ethiopia Renaissance Dam (GERD), expected to significantly enhance its power generation capacity by 5,150 MW. These advancements also hope to bring power to the 40% of Ethiopians who still lack access to electricity.

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