Amazon Web Services (AWS) 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) that 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.
Amazon's recently released report reveals that South Africa is set to receive a significant investment of $2.5 billion between 2018 and 2029. As per the report, AWS's investment during the same period will contribute approximately $4.4 billion to the country's GDP and will generate more than 5,700 full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs in local South African businesses annually. The AWS Sub-Saharan Africa General Manager noted that their investment has already positively impacted local businesses by creating training and skilling programs for the workforce, supporting community engagement, and establishing sustainability initiatives across the country.
AWS Spreading Its African Wings
AWS's recent investment announcement follows the news that the company opened its first office in Nigeria in November 2022, making it the second African country, after South Africa, to have a local office. It has been seven years since AWS launched its first African office in Johannesburg in 2015. In 2018, the company launched infrastructure points-of-presence in Johannesburg and Cape Town, followed by an edge location in Nairobi in 2020 and a new Johannesburg office in 2022. In the same year, AWS established the first African AWS Infrastructure Region in Cape Town, which is still the only infrastructure region on the continent.
Interestingly, Amazon set up a development center in Cape Town as far back as 2004 where developers helped build the Amazon EC2 service, which is a crucial component of Amazon's cloud-computing platform. The African cloud market has experienced remarkable growth over the last five years, and Microsoft Azure established data centers in South Africa in March 2019, with one in Cape Town and another in Johannesburg. In October 2022, Google also announced its plan to launch its first Google Cloud region in South Africa.