This talk shares experiences around the development and implementation of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Cyber-infrastructure Framework aimed at supporting multi-sectoral and multidisciplinary regional collaborations around big data projects of regional impact. The Cyber-infrastructure Framework envisaged a regional commons of high performance computing platforms over a fabric of National education and research networks to host multi-sectoral data repositories - facilitated by robust regional policies - utilised by trained users working on collaborative regional R&D projects. The Frameworks defines several pillars for implementation - ranging from harmonised regional policy through to infrastructure deployment, R&D, resource mobilisation, strategic partnerships, and human capital development. In the R&D pillar there are some regional projects e.g. in Weather and Climate and potential projects in geoscience, bioinformatics and spatial drone image data - all aimed at exercising the CI. The cyber-infrastructure also seeks to promote participation of citizens in science, promote education and innovation value chains.