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Microsoft Opens Data Center in Africa

…Targets Nigeria’s Cloud Spending For 2020


Microsoft has announced the opening of its first Data Centres in Africa, with the general availability of Azure from the new Cloud regions in Cape Town and Johannesburg, South Africa. This, Microsoft states, makes it the first global provider to deliver Cloud services from Data Centres on the continent, which will help companies securely and reliably move their businesses to the Cloud while meeting compliance needs.

Explaining the impact of the Centers, Corporate Vice President, Azure Networking, Microsoft, Yousef Khalidi noted: “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 organizations in Africa, accelerate new global investment, and improve access to cloud and internet services”.

General Manager, North, West, East, Central Africa, Levant & Pakistan, Microsoft, Ibrahim Youssry, 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.”

According to the Cloud Africa 2018 report, Cloud use among medium to large organizations 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.

“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,” adds Khalidi. “We look forward to supporting more African enterprises in their cloud journeys and offering a trusted path to digital transformation.”

With a network of over 10,000 local partners and a nearly 30-year history of operating on the continent, the new Data Centres form part of Microsoft’s ongoing investment to enable digital transformation across Africa.

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. Recently, this included a partnership with First Bank Nigeria to expand cloud services and digital educational platforms to SME customers.

In Kenya, Microsoft is expanding FarmBeats, an end-to-end approach to help farmers benefit from technology. FarmBeats strives to enable data-driven farming, bringing together traditional knowledge, intuition, and data to help increase farm productivity and yields.

On the skills development front, Microsoft has established a network of over 800 Microsoft Imagine Academies, offering students of various age groups direct training in the technology field. Together with the African Development Bank, Microsoft is also rolling out `Coding for Employment` to create 25 million jobs and reach 50 million youth and women across Africa.

“We’re working with partners to accelerate cloud readiness and adoption in Africa, ensuring enterprises can deliver services to market faster, businesses can make more data-driven decisions, and governments can better connect with citizens,” adds Youssry.

He continues, “As we connect more businesses to Azure, we’re seeing heightened innovation in the cloud and start-ups expanding their services to new markets. The combination of Microsoft’s global cloud infrastructure with the new regions in Africa will now connect businesses with even more opportunity and customers across the globe.”


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