Google finally sets up Google Cloud for Africa. As part of its larger intentions to invest $1 billion in the continent, Google will soon create its first cloud region in Cape Town, South Africa.
The project will make use of “Equiano,” Google’s own undersea cable that will travel around the West Coast of Africa between Portugal and South Africa and connect Africa with Europe.
According to a study commissioned by Google Cloud, the new cloud area will supposedly contribute more than $2.1 billion to South Africa’s GDP and will aid in the creation of more than 40,000 employees by 2030.
Google Cloud for Africa: what will this change?
Niral Patel, head of Google Cloud Africa, stated that the new region will permit “the localization of applications and services.”
The region, according to the executive, “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 going forward.”
The implications of Google’s plan to increase its presence in Africa may go beyond what is initially apparent.
Some African countries, like Kenya, have recently widened their data protection laws, which would prompt more businesses in the region to give cloud sovereignty concerns a top priority.
Any company in the nation that processes personal data must now register with the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner (ODPC).
For the sake of data sovereignty, Google’s Niral Patel said, “What we’re doing here is offering customers and partners a choice on where they’d like to keep their data and where they’d like to use cloud services.” “Customers can then choose to store the data in the nation if they so wish. The fact that it gives customers an option is probably what matters most to me.”
The last of the major three cloud service providers to set up shop in Southern Africa is Google.
Amazon Web Services opened a data center in Cape Town in 2020, while Oracle opened a data center in Johannesburg in 2021. Microsoft introduced cloud regions in Cape Town and Johannesburg in 2019.
The announcement follows a recent preview launch of cloud regions in Southeast Asia, including Malaysia, Thailand, and New Zealand. The news comes as Google attempts to expand its presence globally.