Oracle Chooses Kenya as Next Data Centre Hub in East Africa

Oracle has officially chosen Kenya as the location for its upcoming data centers. This development marks Kenya as Oracle’s second public cloud region on the continent, following South Africa. The decision to establish a cloud region in Nairobi aligns with Oracle’s vision to expand its global cloud infrastructure and enhance the digital landscape in Kenya.

Quick Summary:

  • Oracle’s Expansion: Oracle, a global tech giant, plans to set up data centers in Kenya, reinforcing the country’s status as a key player in the African data center ecosystem.
  • Kenya’s Digital Transformation: The initiative aligns with Kenya’s Bottom-up Economic Transformation Agenda, focusing on digital transformation, private sector development, agricultural transformation, housing development, and healthcare modernization.
  • Collaborative Opportunities: Discussions between Oracle and Kenyan officials explore collaboration in digital training, cybersecurity, information sharing, and Artificial Intelligence.

Kenya’s Data Center Landscape

Kenya has emerged as a primary hub for data centers in Africa, positioning itself as the gateway to the East African region. Currently hosting approximately 11 data centers, key investors include icolo.io (Digital Realty), IXAfrica, PAIX, Teraco Data Environments, and Wingu. Notably, Huawei Technologies has played a significant role in developing data centers, such as the Konza smart city and data center phases.

Recent trends indicate a shift in the storage of African data, with a surge in local data centers. The rise of these centers has contributed to increased cloud-based computing across major African economies, including South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, Egypt, and Morocco.

Addressing Challenges and Driving Innovation

The expansion of data centers in Africa, attracting up to $700 million in annual capital investment, offers several advantages. Firstly, it facilitates the enforcement of data-related laws based on physical location, addressing concerns about data sovereignty. Secondly, it mitigates data lags, ensuring faster and more efficient access. Importantly, the proliferation of local data centers has the potential to reduce costs associated with cloud services, a significant concern for businesses.

A recent legal case highlighted the substantial fees companies pay to major cloud service providers. Twiga Foods, for instance, paid $83,000 per month to Google Cloud Services vendor Incentro Africa. Such high costs are attributed to the reliability, uptime, and data security offered by these established cloud service providers.

Global Tech Giants’ Interest in Africa

Oracle’s decision to invest in Kenya mirrors the growing interest of American tech companies in Africa’s cloud market. Google recently announced the operationalization of its first African Cloud region in South Africa. Microsoft, although yet to establish a data center in Kenya, signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Kenyan government to support digitalization plans. Additionally, Amazon has established a development hub in Nairobi, complementing its AWS Local Zone launched earlier.

Oracle’s choice to establish data centers in Kenya signifies a pivotal moment in Africa’s technological advancement. This move not only contributes to Kenya’s digital transformation but also aligns with the broader trend of major tech players recognizing the potential and importance of the African cloud market.

Final Thoughts:

Oracle’s commitment to establishing a cloud region in Kenya is a testament to the country’s growing significance in the global tech landscape. As Africa continues to embrace digital transformation, partnerships between tech giants and local governments are crucial in driving innovation, economic development, and increased accessibility to advanced technologies.

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