Amazon Web Services (AWS), an Amazon.com company, announced the opening of the AWS Africa (Cape Town) Region. With this launch, AWS now spans 73 Availability Zones within 23 geographic regions around the world, and has announced plans for 12 more Availability Zones across four more AWS Regions in Indonesia, Italy, Japan, and Spain.
Developers, startups, and enterprises, as well as government, education, and non-profit organizations can run their applications and serve end-users in Africa with even lower latency and leverage advanced AWS technologies to drive innovation.
“The cloud is positively transforming lives and businesses across Africa and we are honored to be a part of that transformation,” said Peter DeSantis, Senior Vice President of Global Infrastructure and Customer Support, Amazon Web Services.
“We have a long history in South Africa and have been working to support the growth of the local technology community for over 15 years. In that time, builders, developers, entrepreneurs, and organizations have asked us to bring an AWS Region to Africa and today we are answering these requests by opening the Cape Town Region.
“We look forward to seeing the creativity and innovation that will result from African organizations building in the cloud.”
The AWS Africa (Cape Town) Region has three Availability Zones. AWS Regions are composed of Availability Zones, which each comprise of one or more data centers and are located in separate and distinct geographic locations with enough distance to significantly reduce the risk of a single event impacting business continuity, yet near enough to provide low latency for high-availability applications.
Each Availability Zone has independent power, cooling, and physical security and is connected via redundant, ultra-low-latency networking. AWS customers focused on high availability can design their applications to run in multiple Availability Zones to achieve even greater fault-tolerance.
Like all AWS infrastructure regions around the world, the Availability Zones in the Cape Town Region are equipped with back-up power to ensure continuous and reliable power availability to maintain operations during electrical failures and load shedding in the country.
AWS infrastructure regions meet the highest levels of security, compliance, and data protection. With the new region, customers with data residency requirements, and those looking to comply with the Protection of Personal Information Act (POPIA), can now store their content in South Africa with the assurance that they retain complete ownership of their data and it will not move unless they choose to move it.
AWS continues to invest in Africa
The AWS Africa (Cape Town) Region adds to Amazon’s ongoing investment in South Africa. Amazon first established a presence in Cape Town, setting up a Development Center in 2004, to build pioneering technologies focused on networking, next-generation software for customer support, the technology behind Amazon EC2, and much more.
In 2015, Amazon expanded its presence in the country, opening an AWS office in Johannesburg, with significant and growing teams of account managers, business development managers, customer services representatives, partner managers, professional services consultants, solutions architects, technical account managers, and many more to help customers of all sizes as they move to the cloud.
In 2017, the Amazon Global Network expanded to Africa through AWS Direct Connect, and in 2018, Amazon established its first infrastructure on the African continent, launching Amazon CloudFront locations in Johannesburg and Cape Town, South Africa, followed in 2020 by an edge location in Nairobi, Kenya.