Google has announced its intention to establish the first African Google Cloud region in South Africa. South Africa will be joining Google Cloud’s global network of 35 cloud regions and 106 zones worldwide.

The announcement was made at the Google for Africa hybrid event in Lagos, Nigeria and the initiative, according to Niral Patel, director of Google Cloud Africa, is one of the ways Google is delivering on the $1 billion investment commitment made in 2021 by the company’s CEO, Sundar Pichai.

By definition, a Google Cloud “region” is a logical abstraction of underlying physical resources provided in one or more physical data centres.

The cloud region, whose launch data Google did not communicate, will apparently bring Google Cloud services closer to its African customers, enabling them to innovate and securely deliver faster and more reliable experiences.

Patel also stated that the new Cloud Region would help users, developers, businesses and educational institutions across Africa to move more information and tools online and also improve access options for customers which would in turn create jobs.

Google also announced that along with the Cloud region, the company would expand its network through the Equiano subsea cable and build Dedicated Cloud Interconnect sites in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Lagos and Nairobi. This, according to the company, will enable it to build full-scale Cloud capability for Africa.

Google Cloud will be joining Microsoft Azure (launched March 2019), Amazon Web Services (launched April 2020) and Oracle Cloud (launched January 2022) as multinational cloud providers with regions in South Africa to serve the continent.

According to research by AlphaBeta Economics, commissioned by Google Cloud, the South Africa cloud region will contribute more than $2.1 billion to the country’s GDP, and will support the creation of more than 40,000 jobs by 2030.

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