Today, tech giant Amazon and its cloud computing arm Amazon Web Services (AWS), have announced the opening of a new office in Johannesburg, South Africa to support growing customer demand for its services.
According to a statement from the company, the new office will aim to bolster South Africa’s burgeoning cloud market, and provide a range of services to organisations of all sizes, including startups, enterprises, and public sector agencies to help them innovate, lower information technology (IT) costs, and accelerate migrations to the cloud.
Amazon Casts Its Shadow Over South Africa
AWS says that the new office continues Amazon’s growing investment in South Africa. In 2004, AWS first established its presence in Cape Town, setting up a development centre to pioneer technologies focused on networking, next-generation software for customer support, and software programs used by AWS, among other technologies.
In 2020, Amazon further reinforced its commitment to Africa when it launched Africa (Cape Town) Region, the first AWS Infrastructure Region in South Africa. The AWS Region enables businesses and government organisations of all sizes to create remote working platforms, build cloud applications, and store their data locally while reaching end users across Africa with even lower latency.
This year, however, the Cape Town High Court blocked the construction of the new Amazon Africa headquarters to be built in the city. Reportedly, the High Court vetoed the move due to Amazon not having undergone the proper process to acquire the land. Amazon allegedly did not consider the indigenous habitants of the area in its processes.
AWS Eyes Joburg’s Talent
“Johannesburg offers an incredible talent pool of highly skilled and creative people. It is home to many notable South African enterprises leading the way in digital innovation as well as fast-growing startups,” said Chris Erasmus, Country Manager at AWS.
“The new office will support customers to innovate, lower their IT costs, and grow their organisations by leveraging the cloud. We look forward to fostering the country’s pioneering spirit alongside our customers by helping them accelerate their digital transformation and deliver innovative new products and services to the South African economic landscape.”
Tebogo Mokwena, Co-founder and CEO of Akiba Digital, a South African startup, welcomed the news of the new AWS office in Johannesburg.
“[The office] further accelerates our country’s digital transformation and inclusive financial services, which in turn drive growth. This is what Akiba Digital is solving with AWS, cloud-based financial services that foster participation in AWS startup programs,” Mokwena said.