Microsoft today announced that they are planning to add data centers in Africa, bringing the total number of Microsoft data centers worldwide to 40, which is more than any other cloud provider. Initial availability will come in 2018, and the new centers will offer enterprise-grade reliability and performance combined with data residency.
According to Microsoft, these new Microsoft Cloud data centers (located in Johannesburg and Capetown, in South Africa) will deliver Azure, Office 365, and Dyanamics 365, along with enterprise-grade reliability and performance combined with data residency. Scott Guthrie, Microsoft's Executive Vice President of Cloud and Enterprise Group explains what this means for the people of Africa.
We see enormous opportunity for the cloud to accelerate innovation, support people across the continent who are working to transform their businesses, explore new entrepreneurship opportunities and help solve some of the world’s hardest problems... Customers across Africa, including local startups and NGOs, will be able to use the cloud services delivered from these new regions to power innovation and opportunity for Africa and the world. For example:
- M-KOPA Solar has used mobile and cloud technology to develop an affordable pay-as-you-go solar energy solution to provide electricity to more than 500,000 homes.
- AGIN has leveraged the cloud to enable an app to connect 140,000 smallholder farmers to key services, enabling them to share data and facilitate $1.3 million per month in finance, insurance and other services.
This announcement brings us to 40 cloud regions around the world — more than any other cloud provider — and will help organizations and people from Cairo to Cape Town accelerate their journey to cloud computing.
Microsoft believes that the new investment marks a major milestone in the company's mission to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more. In fact, Microsoft has beaten rivals Amazon and Google to launching a data center in Africa, marking a significant step forward in the company's cloud division. The data centers, nonetheless, are also an addition to other Microsoft efforts on the African continent, including using the Microsoft Cloud to bring access to training and education, building job skills for more than 775,000 people in Africa.