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BCX readies Alibaba African cloud data centre

Samuel Mungadze
By Samuel Mungadze, Africa editor
Johannesburg, 31 Aug 2023
BCX CEO Jonas Bogoshi.
BCX CEO Jonas Bogoshi.

BCX, a Telkom business, will launch Alibaba’s first African local public cloud data centre, in South Africa, in October.

This follows an alliance agreement inked between the firms in September last year, in which they committed to establish a new service-centric cloud experience for Africa.

Alibaba Cloud offers a variety of computing products, including databases, networking, security, analytics and big data.

This week, BCX revealed in an exclusive interview with ITWeb Africa that it is currently running tests of the local public data centre.

BCX CEO Jonas Bogoshi told ITWeb on the sidelines of the SATNAC conference, in Drakensberg, on Monday that the company is now ready to rollout cloud data centres across Africa, beginning with South Africa.

“We mentioned before that we will be partnering with Alibaba. That process is well under way. What we decided was to build local public cloud, and this means unlike a normal cloud, the data resides in the country for things like data sovereignty and security. Also, we can charge in local currency.

“We are launching on 5 October, [when] the local public cloud will up and running. We are also working on rolling them out across the continent.

“So, the plan is to open one in Mozambique in December; the business case has been approved. We will then have the next one in Cape Town. We are also looking at countries like Botswana, Namibia and Zambia, where we have presence,” Bogoshi noted.

“The partnership with Alibaba is working very well and we think it’s going to change BCX going forward.

“Not only are we introducing infrastructure services, we are introducing all applications on top of that, including a marketplace for enterprise.”

"This will be a major milestone for both Alibaba and BCX, as it will enable them to effectively compete with other hyperscalers, such as AWS and Microsoft, that have local cloud data centres," said Derrick Chikanga, research manager for IT services at IDC.

“The local facilities would enable Alibaba to offer its cloud services closer to customers, decreasing latency and meeting data sovereignty requirements.”

* This exclusive was originally published by ITWeb Africa.