New Google Cloud region is now open in Johannesburg

January 31, 2024

Long term parter to the AI Expo Africa ecosystem, Google, announces new Johannesburg cloud region in South Africa is ready for customer use.

Businesses of all sizes across the continent now have access to high-performance, secure and low-latency cloud services. We 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 (GDP). Google alone has committed $1 billion to boost Africa’s digital transformation, recognizing that key drivers of the continent’s growth will include investing in infrastructure, nurturing the growing tech talent pool, and enabling a vibrant startup ecosystem.

Helping organizations and people succeed in Africa

The Google Cloud region in Johannesburg will accelerate the African tech ecosystem, providing organizations with the resources they need to scale, innovate, and compete in the global marketplace. We are excited to partner with organizations across the continent and help them discover the advantages of digital transformation.

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, the Johannesburg region is connected to Google’s secure network, comprising a system of high-capacity fiber 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 programs like Cloud OnBoardCloud Hero and Google Hustle Academy, which cover technology topics like generative AI (gen AI), machine learning (ML), application and infrastructure modernization, data and analytics, and digital marketing.

We also operate numerous programs for African startups, including Black Founders Fund Africa and Google for Startups Accelerator Africa, which has supported 106 startups across 17 African countries — startups that have collectively raised over $263 million in funding and created over 2,800 direct jobs. In the October 2023 cohort of our AI First Accelerator Program, 11 startups will embark on a 10-week journey to scale their AI solutions for Africa and globally, leverage up to $350,000 in Google Cloud Credits, and gain access to Google’s AI expertise and support.

A boon for African businesses

The launch of the Johannesburg region has been met with enthusiasm by organizations, partners and existing Google Cloud customers across Africa.

“As a company that’s committed to creating financial satisfaction in emerging markets, we’ve seen incredible scale and impact owing to Google Cloud’s infrastructure. The new cloud region brings our services closer to millions of people who need it, setting the pace for much bigger digital transformation across Africa. Powered by our collaboration with Google Cloud, people experience payments and digital banking differently everyday through our products. We’re excited to scale this impact to more markets with greater support from the new Google Cloud region.” – Felix Ike, Chief Technology Officer, Moniepoint

“Pepkor IT is extremely excited that Google Cloud is opening a local cloud region in South Africa. As a company, we selected Google Cloud as our strategic partner to enable business and technology transformation four years ago, already with fantastic successes in our end user, data analytics and solutions environments. This local investment in the cloud region emphasizes the commitment to us as a company, as well as our country, and creates the potential to further improve the user experience, access to data insights and lowering of cost. We look forward to working together as partners and to take full advantage of all the latest Google Cloud technologies and skills, at the Southern tip of Africa.” – Gabrie Gouws, Chief Innovation Officer, Pepkor IT

“We celebrate the opening of the new cloud region at a time where we have been reflecting on the transformative impact the Advanced Data Analytics Management Platform (ADAM), built on Google Cloud’s infrastructure, has had on African telecoms. Powered by Google Cloud and expertly guided by Deloitte, ADAM has set new standards in leveraging near real-time data analytics to revolutionize customer experiences. Built to scale across 19 markets, ADAM processes an astounding 4 trillion data records monthly, enabling data-driven decision-making like never before, closing significant skills gaps, democratizing insights and enhancing customer satisfaction. The collaboration we have in place with Google Cloud is more than a technological alliance; the opening of the cloud region in Johannesburg will level this up to become a catalyst for sustainable, data-driven growth and a brighter future for Africa.” – Mohanoe Mokhitli, General Manager, Data & Analytics Centre of Excellence, MTN Group

“We congratulate Google Cloud on the launch of its first cloud region on the African continent. As ‘South Africa’s Most Valuable Brand’ that continues to pioneer the delivery of market-leading digital innovations, FNB recognises the importance of collaborative efforts in delivering tailored customer experiences that leverage cutting-edge technologies. We believe that the new cloud region supports the continent’s digital transformation efforts and enables institutions such as ours to accelerate the delivery of digitized financial and lifestyle solutions. Similarly, this initiative could serve as a catalyst for local talent development, creating opportunities for skills development and employment throughout the region.” – Faye Mfikwe, Chief Marketing Officer, First National Bank

“The opening of the Google Cloud region in South Africa will further solidify the partnership between Liquid C2 and Google Cloud. Our partnership in Africa at large will focus on three key areas of digital transformation: Cloud, cybersecurity, AI and enhancing collaboration with tools such as Google Workspace and Duet AI.” – Oswald Jumira, CEO, Liquid C2

“As a ‘cloud-first’ solutions company, Africa Digital Group (ADG) is particularly excited about the launch of the Google Cloud region in South Africa — the first on the African continent. For our customers, this means that they can capitalize on the transformative solutions offered by Google Cloud and enjoy high-performance cloud services as they embark on their journey toward digitization with us. Africa occupies a unique position globally, where many organizations are not encumbered by legacy solutions. At ADG, we serve a thriving start-up sector across Africa that stands to gain from the robust platforms Google Cloud provides, enabling them to securely and reliably accelerate the modernization and adoption of cloud solutions.” – Andrew Waititu, Director, Africa Digital Group

“The highly anticipated launch of Google’s Cloud region in Africa signifies Google’s unwavering commitment to the continent. It also signals to the market that Google Cloud is making its world-class frontier technology accessible to Africans – meaningfully connecting Africa to the rest of the world. The launch enables a new level of impact that matters to our communities, employees and clients by bringing an energetic ecosystem of African innovators and trusted brands together. We are excited about the opportunity Google’s new cloud region offers African enterprises to transform and to be more globally competitive in sectors like Agriculture, Retail, Healthcare, Telecommunications and Financial Services.” – Shyam Ranchod, Google Alliance Leader, Deloitte Africa

“We were initially drawn to Google Cloud’s AI focused services model because it aligned with our mission of revolutionizing healthcare in South Africa. But the support we’ve received from Google Cloud has superseded this scope. The launch of the new Google Cloud region in South Africa takes this support to the next level. With improved performance, compliance, and availability, we’ll be able to deliver new and innovative healthcare services to South African patients and providers faster than ever before.” – Luis da Silva, CEO, Healthbridge

“At Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator, we’ve been proud to partner with Google Cloud in enabling us to reliably scale our support to millions of unemployed young people in South Africa looking for work and learning. We are excited about Google Cloud’s further investment in our local economy and development of digital skills in South Africa, and look forward to a continued partnership in changing the lives of South African youth.” – Hanlie de Bod, Chief Innovation Officer, Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator

A new way to cloud

African countries are poised to transform their economies and quality of life with technology, and Google Cloud is ready to provide the infrastructure to support their rise to become global commercial and technology leaders. Together with our rich partner ecosystem, we are delivering a new way to cloud that empowers African organizations to build, use, and succeed with enterprise-ready gen AI.

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About the AI Media Group

The AI Media Group is a South African based industry analysis, publishing & business events consultancy specialising in the 4IR / smart tech sector in Africa.  They are curators of AI Expo Africa, the continent’s largest B2B/B2G Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Robotic Process Automation (RPA) trade show and publishers of Synapse, the first quarterly trade magazine charting Africa’s 4IR innovation journey. The group also runs AI TV which hosts discussions on trends in AI and 4IR technologies with local, regional and global thought leaders.

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