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Amazon Web Services to invest $1.8B in South Africa

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Amazon Web Services (AWS) has announced its plans to invest 30.4 billion South African rands (US$1.8 billion) in its cloud infrastructure in South Africa by 2029.

The company has published a new economic impact study (EIS) which outlines the group's investment in its AWS Africa region since 2018.

The report also shows a forecast of the investment needed to construct, operate, and maintain Amazon's cloud infrastructure in the country.

In the report, Amazon estimates $2.5 billion will be invested in South Africa between 2018 and 2029.

Furthermore, the report indicates AWS's investment from 2018 to 2029 will contribute an estimated $4.4 billion to the gross domestic product (GDP) of South Africa and support an estimated average of more than 5,700 full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs in local South African businesses on an annual basis.

"AWS had long been committed to South Africa and this infrastructure investment adds to our ongoing local story, where one of our foundational capabilities, the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) was developed by engineers in Cape Town back in 2006," said AWS Sub Saharan Africa General Manager Amrote Abdella.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) has published an economic impact study (EIS) outlining the group's investment in its African region since 2018. (Source: Server rack photo created by DCStudio -
Amazon Web Services (AWS) has published an economic impact study (EIS) outlining the group's investment in its African region since 2018. (Source: Server rack photo created by DCStudio -

"This report illustrates our ongoing commitment to invest in South Africa and support demand for our world-class technology from customers here and around the world," Abdella continued.

The AWS Sub Saharan Africa General Manager said AWS's investment already has a ripple effect on numerous local businesses and has helped establish training and skilling programs for the local workforce, supported community engagement through various initiatives and created sustainability initiatives across the country.

AWS spreading its African wings

The investment announcement comes after AWS announced that it was opening its first office in Nigeria, making it only the second country where the cloud giant has a local office in Africa in November 2022.

The Nigerian office comes seven years after AWS launched its first African office in Johannesburg, South Africa, back in 2015.

In 2018, AWS launched infrastructure points-of-presence in Cape Town and Johannesburg, followed in 2020 by an edge location in Nairobi, Kenya, and a new Johannesburg office in 2022.

In 2020, the company launched the first African AWS Infrastructure Region in Cape Town, South Africa, which remains its only infrastructure region on the continent.

Amazon opened a development center in Cape Town back in 2004 and developers there helped build the Amazon EC2 service, which is a central part of Amazon's cloud-computing platform.

AWS said it also has an active user group in Nigeria, with hundreds of members who organize local meetups for developers to network and share best practices and knowledge.

Africa's cloud market has been growing well over the past five years and Microsoft Azure landed data centers in South Africa in March 2019, with one in Johannesburg and another in Cape Town.

In October 2022 Google also announced it was launching its first Google Cloud region in South Africa.

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*Top image source: Image by on Freepik.

— Matshepo Sehloho, Associate Editor, Connecting Africa

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