AWS commits to investing in SA

Simnikiwe Mzekandaba
By Simnikiwe Mzekandaba, IT in government editor
Johannesburg, 11 Jul 2019

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is committed to South Africa and will continue investing in the market.

This is the word from Prabashni Naidoo, enterprise regional sales manager for AWS in Sub-Saharan Africa, noting the importance of the African market to the tech giant.

Naidoo’s assurances come as AWS prepares for the imminent launch of its data centres, which have been billed as a potential jobs generator in the country’s local cloud ecosystem. Last October, AWS announced it would bring its data centres to SA, opening an infrastructure region in Cape Town in the first half of 2020.

Speaking to a packed auditorium at the African AWS Summit at the Cape Town International Conference Centre, Naidoo said AWS will keep driving innovation. “We are expanding our teams both here in Cape Town as well as in Johannesburg.”

She went on to say AWS supports a variety of entrepreneurs and start-ups in the region, adding it will continue with training investment through locally-led AWS training, as well as through its partnership network.

Talking to the company’s rapid growth trajectory, Naidoo said in the first quarter of this year, AWS’s revenue increased by 41% year-on-year to reach $7.4 billion. As a result, the company is now a $30.8 billion revenue run rate business.

She noted her company has “tens of thousands of active customers” in Sub-Saharan Africa, and counts Pick n Pay, Standard Bank, Old Mutual, University of Pretoria and TymeBank as part of its customer base.

“When researchers at the South African National Bioinformatics Institute at the University of Western Cape had an idea to help more than six million South Africans living with HIV, they came to AWS to make it a reality.”

This year marked the fourth edition of the Africa AWS Summit in the City of Cape Town.