Google opens Joburg cloud region

Admire Moyo
By Admire Moyo, ITWeb's news editor.
Johannesburg, 31 Jan 2024
Niral Patel, director of Google Cloud Africa.
Niral Patel, director of Google Cloud Africa.

Internet search giant Google has announced its Johannesburg cloud region in South Africa is now ready for use.

This, after the company first announced its plans to open a cloud region in South Africa in 2022.

The opening of the new cloud region will see Google go head-on with other hyperscalers, such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure and Alibaba Cloud.

Microsoft was the first hyperscaler to establish local data centres in South Africa, followed by AWS, and lastly Alibaba Cloud, which is offering its services through a partnership with Telkom subsidiary BCX.

In a statement, Niral Patel, director of Google Cloud Africa, says with the new facility, businesses across the continent now have access to high-performance, secure and low-latency cloud services.

According to Patel, Google will host a launch event in Johannesburg later this year to celebrate the opening of the cloud region and showcase "the transformative potential it holds for businesses across the continent".

“Africa’s internet economy is estimated to reach $180 billion by 2025, accounting for 5.2% of the continent’s gross domestic product,” he says.

“Google alone has committed $1 billion to boost Africa’s digital transformation, recognising that key drivers of the continent’s growth will include investing in infrastructure, nurturing the growing tech talent pool, and enabling a vibrant start-up ecosystem.”

The announcement comes after market analyst firm IDC last week told ITWeb that South Africa will see increased investments in the cloud space this year.

As the cloud market competition heats up, data centre companies are increasingly building facilities in South Africa to address data residency and sovereignty concerns.

Patel points out that the Google Cloud region in Johannesburg will accelerate the African tech ecosystem, providing organisations with the resources they need to scale, innovate and compete in the global marketplace.

“We are excited to partner with organisations across the continent and help them discover the advantages of digital transformation,” he says.

“With the addition of the Johannesburg region, our network now totals 40 cloud regions and 121 zones, which together deliver Google Cloud services to over 200 countries and territories worldwide.”

Like all Google Cloud regions, Patel adds, the Johannesburg region is connected to Google’s network, comprising a system of high-capacity fibre-optic cables under land and sea around the world.

This includes the recently-completed Equiano subsea cable system that connects Portugal with Togo, Nigeria, Namibia, South Africa and St Helena.

“Beyond infrastructure and services, we’re committed to providing people and businesses with enablement and training on the latest cloud technologies and sustainable business practices. 

"Learners and business owners have participated in training programmes, like Cloud OnBoard, Cloud Hero and Google Hustle Academy, which cover technology topics such as generative AI, machine learning, application and infrastructure modernisation, data and analytics, and digital marketing.”