Google has announced intentions to build a data centre in South Africa that will host data from all around the continent and assist Google Cloud users.
According to the research by the law firm DLA Piper in South Africa, the number of data centres in Africa has grown rapidly in recent years, with SA having over 50 operational data centre locations by June 2022.
Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft, Africa Data Centers, Acronis, Oracle, and Dimension Data are just a few of the companies that have opened data centres locally in response to the continent of Africa’s rapidly growing need for data centre access, particularly in South Africa.
Google declared that Africa Data Centers would serve as the continent’s first location for a Google Cloud Interconnect in June.
“Google as a hyperscaler has had a presence in Africa for a while. We have big cloud customers that we serve and this [the data centre plan] is about increasing our capacity to serve these customers. While I can’t share market share-related statistics, Google Cloud is a sustainable business that keeps growing in Africa.” said Dr. Alistair Mokoena, South Africa Country Director, Google and Professor of Practice.
According to Dr Mokoena, the demand for Google’s cloud services from African businesses has increased significantly, and it is still growing. As a result, businesses are increasingly requesting the cloud, and governments are considering creating cloud data policies.
He also stated that Google is considering building data centres all throughout the continent of Africa in the long run.
In Nairobi, Kenya, Google is now establishing a Product Development Center that will produce goods for the African market and sell software to other parts of the world. Google is actively hiring 100 software engineers and developers to effectively deliver services from the centre.
Moreover, the company has invested $3 million (R51.4 million) in the Black Founders Fund in addition to millions of rands to support small businesses in Africa through the Africa Investment Fund. In addition, it has promised to train 10 million young people in digital skills over the following five years.
Over time, data centres will disperse over the continent, and they will refer to these areas as cloud regions. They would also want to reach out to the marginalized or the more than 900 million Africans who don’t have internet access out of the 1.3 billion people in the continent. Hence, it is their responsibility as an ecosystem to make sure they don’t leave anyone behind on the road to digital inclusion.
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