Google switches on its first Africa cloud region

Google Cloud illustration of South Africa region (Johannesburg)
(Image credit: Google Cloud)

In a significant move aimed at supporting and promoting digital transformation in Africa, Google Cloud has announced the operational readiness of a new cloud region placed in Johannesburg, South Africa - its first on the continent.

The announcement explains how AWS high-performance, secure, and low-latency cloud services are now available to businesses across the continent.

According to Google, Africa’s internet economy is predicted to reach $180 billion by 2025, accounting for 5.2% of the continent’s entire GDP.

Google Cloud goes to Africa

Keen to get in early on the action, Google CEO Sundar Pichai stated in 2021 that the company would invest $1 billion to support the continent’s digital evolution over a period of five years.

In a separate 2022 announcement, Google reckoned that its South Africa cloud region, which at that point was just a pipeline project, would contribute more than a cumulative $2.1 billion to the country’s GDP and create more than 40,000 jobs by 2030.

With this addition, Google Cloud’s network now spans 40 regions and 121 zones, including 200 countries and territories worldwide.

The new South Africa region, like any other Google Cloud region, is integrated into the company’s global network by high-capacity fiber optic cables, including a new Equiano subsea cable system connecting Portugal to Togo, Nigeria, Namibia and South Africa on the mainland, as well as St Helena in the South Atlantic Ocean.

Google's other investments across Africa include support for businesses, training programs, and Google Cloud Credits for certain eligible startups.

Moreover, Google Cloud looks to be expanding its services globally, with new Bulikula and Halaihai projects aimed at connecting Central Pacific island nations and the Humboldt project linking South America with Asia-Pacific, all via subsea cables.

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