Last week, Oracle, the world’s largest database management company, opened its first cloud region (a cluster of data centres) in Africa, as it joined other global players like Microsoft and Amazon who already have data centres on the African continent.

The launch of the data centre in South Africa, makes it Oracle’s 37th cloud region worldwide with plans to have at least 44 cloud regions by the end of 2022—opening 7 additional cloud regions in Spain, Mexico, Colombia, Chile, France, Israel, and Saudi Arabia. 

Oracle has no plans for more data centres in Africa this year, but in the next year, there could be more as the company explores areas such as West Africa, Cherian Varghese, regional managing director for Middle East and Africa, told Reuters.

The Johannesburg data centre is expected to help customers to easily migrate IT workloads and data platforms to the cloud or build new cloud native applications. 

“Public cloud services adoption is accelerating at a CAGR of 25% year on year between 2020 and 2025 in Sub-Saharan Africa, and IDC projects that the growth momentum will continue,” Mark Walker, associate vice president, Sub-Saharan Africa, International Data Corporation (IDC) said.

Walker also added that based on a recent survey by the IDC, 60% of organisations in South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria are planning to adopt cloud over the next 12-18 months. This implies that they’ll need the data centres that are close to them in order to experience the lowest levels of latency.

Fortunately, Oracle and other global players are already positioned for this opportunity.  In December 2021, Equinix Inc., a US-based internet connectivity giant, acquired MainOne, West African connectivity and data solutions company, for $320 million. A  deal that will see Equinix enter the West African market, the first step in its long-term strategy to become an African carrier neutral digital infrastructure company. Africa Data Centres, Africa’s largest network of interconnected, carrier and cloud-neutral data centre facilities,  also opened a new 10MW data centre facility in Lagos in October.

These recent announcements signal that global players are increasingly interested in Africa as internet penetration and digital literacy increase.

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