AWS extends cloud to new continental edge with Africa region

AWS extends cloud to new continental edge with Africa region

Organizations that use AWS cloud services now have low latency service across Africa thanks to the recently launched AWS Region in Africa (Cape Town).

The first AWS Region in Africa offers three Availability Zones, writes Sébastien Stormacq, Principal Developer Advocate for AWS.

Amazon customers that have to follow the Protection of Personal Information Act (POPIA) and data localization laws can keep their data in South Africa, without jeopardizing ownership. AWS Region in Africa supports organizations and companies of all types and sizes innovate and scale. It is available for both existing customers and partners and newcomers interested in deploying workloads closer to their end-users.

The Amazon subsidiary has so far opened 23 Regions worldwide, while the global AWS Infrastructure comprises of 73 Availability Zones (AZ). Since the early 2000s, AWS has been trying to establish a stronger cloud computing presence in Africa by developing networking technologies and software through its Development Center in Cape Town.

Later in 2015, AWS expanded to Johannesburg and has since established three edge locations for its CloudFront CDN service in Cape Town and Johannesburg in South Africa, and in Nairobi in Kenya.

Growing cloud and data center industry in Africa

Last year in March, Microsoft launched the first enterprise-grade data centers in Africa in Cape Town and Johannesburg, offering general availability for Microsoft Azure and cloud services, and increased computing resources and connectivity.

Microsoft said in a blog post that it is committed to boosting digital transformation in Africa by investing in AI, cloud, and edge computing.

Locating cloud services in South Africa is a logical first step for Amazon and Microsoft-it is home to the second-largest economy on the continent (after Nigeria). The cloud and digital services industry in Africa has the potential to expand much further, with the size of the content offering ample opportunity for provisioning of services closer to customers.

According to the Africa Data Centres Association (ADCA), there are 85 data center providers in 54 countries. Further buildout in the region is coming. For example, Pan-African Internet Exchange (PAIX) is slated to launch a new data center in Nairobi, Kenya in 2020 according to a report in IT Web Africa.

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