Microsoft Wednesday announced the opening of its first datacentres in Africa, with the general availability of Azure from the new cloud regions in Cape Town and Johannesburg, South Africa. Whereas the feat makes Microsoft the first global technology services provider to deliver cloud platforms from datacentres on the continent, Business Hilights recalls that the very first target location of the $30bn investment was Nigeria, but Microsoft pulled out on grounds of poor enabling infrastructure including power and credible human capacity.
We had in September 2017 reported the dumping of Nigeria for South Africa (http://businesshilights.com.ng/microsoft-gives-fresh-lead-to-why-it-diverted-30bn-data-centre-to-safrica/).
The company while making the announcement noted that the life changing facility will among other things, help companies securely and reliably move their businesses to the cloud while meeting compliance needs.
In his remarks, Yousef Khalidi, Corporate Vice President, Azure Networking, Microsoft averred that “Microsoft Azure is now available from our new cloud regions in Cape Town and Johannesburg. The combination of Microsoft’s global cloud infrastructure with the new regions in Africa will create greater economic opportunity for organisations in Africa, accelerate new global investment, and improve access to cloud and internet services.”
Corroborating his views, Ibrahim Youssry, General Manager, North, West, East, Central Africa, Levant & Pakistan, Microsoft said, “Today is a milestone moment in bringing the global cloud closer to home for African citizens and businesses. Enterprises across Africa can now take full advantage of the many benefits of Microsoft Azure, using cloud services to maintain security and meet compliance standards.”
Facts from the Cloud Africa 2018 report revealed that cloud use among medium to large organisations in Africa has more than doubled between 2013 and 2018. Due to the benefits of cloud in offering efficiency and scalability, more than 90 percent of surveyed companies in South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria have plans to increase their spending on cloud computing in the next year.
However, a secure offering remains important in maintaining this momentum, with many African CEOs concerned about cyber threats.
Khalidi further added that “Microsoft has deep expertise in protecting data and empowering customers around the globe to meet extensive security and privacy requirements, including offering the broadest set of compliance certifications and attestations in the industry.”
“We look forward to supporting more African enterprises in their cloud journeys and offering a trusted path to digital transformation,” Corporate Vice President, Azure Networking for Microsoft disclosed.
A brief review of Microsoft’s investment in Africa showed that with a network of over 10,000 local partners – and a nearly 30-year history of operating on the continent – the new datacentres form part of Microsoft’s ongoing investment to enable digital transformation across Africa.
Recall that in 2013, Microsoft launched its 4Afrika Initiative, working with governments, partners, start-ups and youth to develop more affordable access to the internet, 21st century skills, and locally relevant technology.