Microsoft to deliver Microsoft Cloud from datacentres in Africa to enable economic growth

maxpixel.freegreatpicture.com Lumia Woman Phone Smartphone Bar Nokia Microsoft 623939Microsoft Lumia smartphone. (Image source: Max Pixel)Microsoft’s new investment will provide highly available, scalable, and secure cloud services across Africa with the option of data residency in South Africa 

Microsoft has revealed plans, on 18 May, to deliver the Microsoft Cloud for the first time from datacentres located in Africa. This new investment is a major milestone in the company’s mission to empower every person and every organisation on the planet to achieve more, and a recognition of the enormous opportunity for digital transformation in Africa.

Microsoft will deliver cloud services, including Microsoft Azure, Office 365, and Dynamics 365, from datacentres located in Johannesburg and Cape Town, South Africa with initial availability anticipated in 2018. The new cloud regions will offer enterprise-grade reliability and performance combined with data residency to help enable the tremendous opportunity for economic growth, and increase access to cloud and internet services for organisations and people across the African continent.

Expanding Access & Opportunity: Currently many companies in Africa rely on cloud services delivered from outside of the continent. Microsoft’s new investment will provide highly available, scalable, and secure cloud services across Africa with the option of data residency in South Africa. With the introduction of these new cloud regions, Microsoft has now announced 40 regions around the world – more than any major cloud provider. The combination of Microsoft’s global cloud infrastructure with the new regions in Africa will connect businesses with opportunity across the globe, help accelerate new investments, and improve access to cloud and internet services for people and organisations from Cairo to Cape Town. 

Investing in African Innovation: This announcement expands on ongoing investments in Africa, where organisations are using currently available cloud and mobile services as a platform for innovation in health care, agriculture, education, and entrepreneurship. Microsoft has been working to support local start-ups and NGOs, unleashing innovation that has the potential to solve some of the biggest problems facing humanity, such as the scarcity of water and food, and economic and environmental sustainability. One start-up, M-KOPA Solar, provides affordable pay-as-you-go solar energy to over 500,000 homes using mobile and cloud technology. AGIN has built an app connecting 140,000 smallholder farmers to key services, enabling them to share data and facilitating US$1.3mn per month in finance, insurance and other services.

Across Africa, Microsoft has brought 728,000 small and mid-size enterprises (SMEs) online to help them transform and modernise their businesses, and over 500,000 are now utilising Microsoft cloud services, with 17,000 using the 4Afrika hub to promote and grow their businesses. The Microsoft Cloud is also helping Africans build job skills, with 775,000 trained on subjects ranging from digital literacy to software development. We anticipate the Microsoft Cloud from Africa will fuel extensive new opportunities for our 17,000 regional partners and customers alike.

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