Google has launched its first African cloud region in South Africa, the region is now part of Google's 35 cloud regions and 106 zones globally.
Niral Patel, the Director of Google Cloud in Africa disclosed this today during the Google for Africa 2022 event observed by Benjamindada.com. According to Niral, the company will build Dedicated Cloud Interconnect sites that will link users' on-premises networks with Google's grid, in Nairobi (Kenya), Lagos (Nigeria), and South Africa (Capetown and Johannesburg), in its quest to provide full-scale cloud capabilities for its customers and partners in Africa.
He further added that Google will leverage Equiano to power the sites. Just this year, Google in collaboration with its partners landed the Equiano subsea cable in Togo, Namibia, Nigeria and South Africa.
"The new region will allow for the localization of applications and services. It will make it really easier for our customers and partners to quickly deploy solutions for their businesses, whereby they’re able to leverage our computer artificial intelligence or machine learning capabilities, and data analytics to make smarter business decisions as they go forward," Patel added.
South Africa's demand for cloud services and market demand informed the big tech's decision to launch the first African region in the country where other providers like Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure are currently offering similar services.
The decision to set up a region in South Africa was informed by the demand for cloud services and the market’s potential. Still, the company is looking to launch in more markets within the continent as demand for its products soars. Its early adopters include large enterprise companies and e-commerce firms like South Africa's TakeAlot and Kenya's Twiga Foods.
"What we’re doing here is giving customers and partners a choice on where they’d like to store their data and where they’d like to consume cloud services, especially in the context of data sovereignty. This allows customers to then store the data in the country should they choose to do so… I guess for me the most important element is that it gives customers the element of choice,” Niral Patel said.
Phillemon Mapulane, deputy minister of communications and digital technologies, Republic of South Africa expressed the country's readiness to leverage the Google technology: "We hope that this will create a boost in technology development in the country."
According to research by AlphaBeta Economics commissioned by Google Cloud, the South African cloud region will contribute more than $2.1 billion to the country's GDP and will support the creation of more than 40 000 jobs by 2030.