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AWS Africa Region elevates continent’s cloud ecosystem

The launch of AWS Africa Region in Cape Town is expected to add impetus to Africa’s digital development.
The launch of AWS Africa Region in Cape Town is expected to add impetus to Africa’s digital development.

The launch of AWS Africa Region in Cape Town in April 2020 will add impetus to Africa’s digital development and will heighten global interest in the continent’s cloud services market, according to Stephane Duproz, CEO of Africa Data Centres.

AWS recently announced the opening of AWS Africa Region effectively extending its datacentre footprint of 73 Availability Zones within 23 geographic regions globally.

The newly established AWS Africa Region will enable customers to run their applications and serve end-users in Africa “with even lower latency and leverage advanced AWS technologies to drive innovation.”

AWS Regions are composed of Availability Zones, which each comprise of one or more datacentres and are located in separate and distinct geographic locations “with enough distance to significantly reduce the risk of a single event impacting business continuity, yet near enough to provide low latency for high availability applications.”

Duproz believes the development confirms that international digital leaders do consider Africa as an area of interest where they can provide cloud services in a way which is successful business-wise.

“For African organisations, whether governments or enterprises, this will allow an acceleration of their digital transformations, driving both profitability improvements and capacity to launch new projects. In the middle of this new model are the carrier-neutral data centres like Africa Data Centres, in particular those who physically host cloud providers under their roof or provide enhanced network access to them, like Direct Connect in the case of AWS.”

He added: “Creating ecosystems by bringing cloud providers and their customers within the same datacentre walls is key to create these digital business hubs that African countries need.”

Dimension Data issued a statement congratulating AWS on its launch and announcing the elevation of its partnership with AWS to Advanced Consulting Partner status “based on local skills, reference clients and investment in our managed services capability.”

Grant Bodley, Chief Executive Officer at Dimension Data, said: “We elevated our partnership with AWS to Advanced Consulting Partner status, based on local skills, reference clients and investment in our managed services capability. We’re well positioned to enable our clients to quickly deliver new innovation at scale,” he said. “Our combined migration, automation, application DevOps and managed services skills will help clients access a world of possibilities in IOT, AI, machine learning, advanced analytics, mobile and cognitive services.”

Dimension Data will be providing multi-Gbps fibre connectivity to the AWS Africa Region from its datacentres, client premises and MPLS and SD-WAN networks.

Werner Vogels: CTO & VP of Amazon said the newly launched Region will enable businesses and government organisations, including those focused on fighting the effects of COVID-19, to build cloud applications and store their data locally, while reaching end users across Africa with even lower latency.

“Local customers with data residency requirements, and those looking to comply with the Protection of Personal Information Act (POPIA), can also now store their content in South Africa with the assurance that they retain complete ownership of their data and it will not move unless they choose to move it.”

Derrick Chikanga from Africa Analysis said previously AWS was restricted in migrating some of its client workloads due to data residency regulations. However, the establishment of local datacentres will remove this hurdle.

“AWS is considered to offer cheaper and flexible pricing options. Furthermore, it has a wide selection of products and services that can be accessed through the cloud. Hence this development, and the anticipated establishment of local datacentres by Opera and Oracle, will surely intensify the competitive environment in the local cloud market. However, this could also lead to cheaper pricing options to the benefit of the customers.”

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