Google to set up multi-billion South African cloud infrastructure

Google Cloud

Google said it would set up an African cloud service as part of its $1 billion investment plan for the continent, which will allow users to store their data in-country.

The cloud infrastructure will be based in South Africa, but will give users options on where to store their data, said Niral Patel, the director of Google Cloud Africa.

“We are giving customers and partners choice, they then have the choice where they would like to store data and where they would like to consumer cloud services from,” Patel said on a video call on Wednesday.

African countries have a patchwork of laws on data sovereignty, with some requiring companies to store data within their borders, increasing demand for a more flexible regional cloud service.

In Nigeria, phone companies are prohibited from sending government or customer information outside of the country, part of a push to encourage the development of local companies to store and manage the data.

The Alphabet unit will compete with Microsoft and Amazon Web Services in Africa’s most developed economy.

Google estimates that the South Africa cloud region could contribute more than $2.1 billion to the country’s economy and support the creation of more than 40,000 jobs by 2030, Patel said.

Google also said it’s building out its African subsea cable and cloud interconnect sites in four cities, including Cape Town, Johannesburg, Lagos and Nairobi, to provide full cloud capability for the continent.


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