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Oracle to open cloud facility in Kenya

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Tech company Oracle plans to establish a public cloud region in Kenya's capital city of Nairobi to meet growing demand for Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) services across Africa.

The public cloud region in Kenya will be the company's second on the continent, with the first one opened in January 2022 in Johannesburg, South Africa. Oracle had originally planned to open the Johannesburg cloud region by the end of 2020.

The public cloud region investment was announced during a meeting between Oracle executives, Kenyan government ministers and Kenya's President William Ruto.

"The planned public cloud region in Nairobi underscores Oracle's commitment to Africa and aims to help drive the digital transformation of the Kenyan government, public institutions, enterprises, startups, universities, and investors in Kenya and the continent," Oracle said in a statement.

The company said it will be taking advantage of Kenya's renewable energy and digital infrastructure including abundant submarine cable connections and national connectivity.

The company's cloud architecture will enable Oracle to offer its full suite of more than 100 hyperscale cloud services.

"We are delighted to see Oracle planning such an important investment in Kenya," said President Ruto.

"I am excited to see major technology companies like Oracle investing in Kenya and bringing state-of-the-art technologies like AI and cloud applications that will benefit Kenyan citizens, especially in [the] creation of jobs," he continued.

Oracle said the new Nairobi cloud region aims to help drive the digital transformation of the Kenyan government, public institutions, enterprises, startups and universities.   (Source: Image by on Freepik)
Oracle said the new Nairobi cloud region aims to help drive the digital transformation of the Kenyan government, public institutions, enterprises, startups and universities.
(Source: Image by on Freepik)

President Ruto confirmed that the country's government will continue to facilitate tech companies seeking to set up their footprints in Africa.

"We are delighted to extend our commitment to helping Kenya accelerate the digital transformation of its government and private sector," said Oracle Cloud Infrastructure's senior VP for product and industries, Scott Twaddle.

Kenya's Silicon Savannah

The East African country has in recent times urged international companies to use it to set up digital roots on the continent.

In August 2023, President Ruto went on a US-Kenya business roadshow in San Francisco, California, and met with several Silicon Valley tech CEOs to pitch Kenya's "Silicon Savannah" as a prime investment destination for US-based tech companies.

"If you set up in Kenya. Your African footprint is guaranteed," the President said at the time.

In continuing with its efforts to make the country a major tech hub, in November 2023, the country opened a local device assembly factory with capacity to produce up to 3 million mobile phone units annually.

African cloud region hubs

The Oracle announcement was made at the same time that tech giant Google Cloud launched a new cloud region in Johannesburg, South Africa, its first in Africa.

The cloud region plans were first announced as part of the tech giant's second "Google for Africa" tech event in October 2022.

Johannesburg is Google's only cloud region on the African continent and follows global hyperscalers like Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure, which have already invested in major cloud infrastructure and data centers in South Africa.

Follow Connecting Africa on our new X account @connect__africa to get the latest telecoms and tech news across Africa.

Microsoft Azure was the first to land data centers in South Africa in March 2019, with one in Johannesburg and another in Cape Town.

AWS then launched its Africa Region in Cape Town in April 2020.

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*Top image is of Kenya's President William Ruto with Oracle executives. (Source: Oracle)

— Matshepo Sehloho, Associate Editor, Connecting Africa

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