Amazon Web Services (AWS) has announced it will open an infrastructure region in South Africa in the first half of 2020. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)
CAPE TOWN - Amazon Web Services (AWS) has announced it will open an infrastructure region in South Africa in the first half of 2020. 

The new AWS Africa (Cape Town) Region will consist of three Availability Zones. 

Currently, AWS provides 55 Availability Zones across 19 infrastructure regions worldwide, with another 12 Availability Zones across four AWS Regions in Bahrain, Hong Kong SAR, Sweden, and a second GovCloud Region in the US expected to come online in the coming months. 

“Having built the original version of Amazon EC2 in our Cape Town development center 14 years ago, and with thousands of African companies using AWS for years, we’ve been able to witness first-hand the technical talent and potential in Africa,” said Andy Jassy, chief executive, Amazon Web Services.

“Technology has the opportunity to transform lives and economies across Africa and we’re excited about AWS and the Cloud being a meaningful part of that transformation.”

The new region is the latest in a series of AWS investments in South Africa. 

In 2004, Amazon opened a development center in Cape Town that focuses on building pioneering networking technologies, next generation software for customer support, and the technology behind Amazon EC2. 

AWS has also built a number of local teams including account managers, customer services representatives, partner managers, solutions architects, and more to help customers of all sizes as they move to the cloud. 

In 2015, AWS opened an office in Johannesburg, and in 2017 brought the Amazon Global Network to Africa through AWS Direct Connect. 

In May of 2018, AWS continued its investment in South Africa, launching infrastructure points of presence in Cape Town and Johannesburg, bringing Amazon CloudFront, Amazon Route 53, AWS Shield, and AWS WAF to the continent and adding to the 138 points of presence AWS has around the world.

African organisations already moving to AWS

Organisations across the African continent have been increasingly moving their applications to AWS, according to the company.

Enterprises such as Absa, Investec, MedScheme, MiX Telematics, Old Mutual, Pick n Pay, Standard Bank, Travelstart, and many more are using AWS to drive cost savings, accelerate innovation, and speed up time-to-market. 

African startups choosing AWS as the foundation for their businesses include Aerobotics, Apex Innovation, Asoriba, BusinessOptics, ColonyHQ, Custos Media, DPO PayGate, EMS Invirotel, Entersekt, graylink, HealthQ, JourneyApps, JUMO, Luno, Mukuru, NicheStreem, Parcelninja, Simfy Africa, Zanibal, Zapper, and Zoona. 

Absa

Absa has welcomed the news of an AWS Region. 

“AWS has been Absa’s primary cloud provider for the past three years. The reduction in latencies that will accompany their expansion to South Africa will further enable us to scale our cloud consumption,” said Andy Baker, CIO at Absa. 

“We no longer deploy bespoke hardware, SAN storage, or high-cost proprietary database solutions. Instead, our new tech stack utilises low cost, fully automated, logically partitioned, open source software, with real-time security and application monitoring. AWS’s track record of delivering enterprise ready and South African regulator-approved services to Absa has given us confidence to deploy services aimed at further reducing our operational costs and improving our cyber risk profile.”

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