AWS to invest R30.4bn in South Africa’s Cloud Infrastructure by 2029

Amazon’s cloud service AWS has announced its plans to invest R30.4 billion in its cloud infrastructure in South Africa by 2029. AWS estimates it will invest R6 billion between 2018-2029. The investment will contribute an estimated R80 billion to South Africa’s gross domestic product (GDP) and support over 5,700 full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs at local South African businesses on an annual basis.

Foundation of Commitment

According to Amrote Abdella, General Manager, AWS Sub Saharan Africa, “AWS had long been committed to South Africa, and this infrastructure investment adds to our ongoing local story, where one of our foundational capabilities – Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) – was developed by engineers in Cape Town back in 2006.”

Since 2018, AWS has been investing in its Africa (Cape Town) Region, which has already had a ripple effect on numerous local businesses, established training and skilling programs for the local workforce, supported community engagement through various initiatives, and created sustainability initiatives across the country.

Economic Impact

From 2018 through 2022, AWS invested R15.6 billion, which includes all cash expenses directly attributable to the AWS Africa Region. This has resulted in an estimated R12 billion in local GDP contributed by this AWS Region. AWS investment also supports jobs at local vendors in the South African data centre supply chain, including telecommunications, nonresidential construction, electricity generation, facilities maintenance, and data centre operations.

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Education and Sustainability

AWS is committed to helping prepare the country’s future workforce by working with higher education institutions in South Africa, including Durban University of Technology, Stellenbosch University, and the University of Cape Town. “Programs like AWS Academy, AWS Educate, and AWS re/Start help with job training across the country. Moreover, AWS is committed to supporting the digital literacy goals set out in South Africa’s ‘National Digital and Future Skills Strategy’ through innovative workforce development programs,” it said.

Amazon said that it is also committed to becoming a more sustainable business and reaching net-zero carbon across its operations by 2040. In South Africa, AWS launched its first operational solar project in 2021, which contributes renewable energy to the electricity grid. The solar plant is expected to generate up to 28,000 megawatt-hours (MWh) of renewable energy per year.

AWS in South Africa

The AWS Africa (Cape Town) Region adds to the company’s ongoing investment in South Africa. In 2015, AWS opened an office in Johannesburg, South Africa. In 2022, AWS opened a larger office in Johannesburg to support growing customer demand. In 2017, the Amazon global network expanded into Africa through AWS Direct Connect. In 2018, AWS established its first cloud infrastructure on the African continent, launching Amazon CloudFront locations in Johannesburg and Cape Town. In 2020, the AWS Africa (Cape Town) Region was launched with three Availability Zones, enabling even more developers, startups, and enterprises, as well as government, education, and nonprofit organizations to run their applications and serve end users from data centres located in South Africa.


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