Amazon to Locate African HQ in South Africa, 19,000 Jobs to be Created
A week after Twitter cited its first African office in Ghana, US retail giant, Amazon has announced that its headquarters in Africa will be located in Cape Town, South Africa.
Amazon, founded by the world’s richest man Jeff Bezos, would occupy a section of a 4 billion Rand real estate development in River Club, a prime area in Cape Town.
“The development design intends to create a 150,000 square metre mixed-use space, divided into commercial and housing uses across two precincts. The developer intends 31,900 square metres to be used for residential purposes”, the city mayor, Dan Plato, was quoted to have said.
He added, “The development will include both market-driven and affordable housing opportunities – the latter of which will be physically integrated with the other residential units in the apartment complexes.
“It is envisaged that 5,239 jobs will be created in the construction phase alone…”
It was also projected that the Amazon South Africa HQ would create up to 19 000 jobs, in an economy that has suffered a devastating blow in the aftermath of the Covid-19 lockdowns.
Amazon already launched its data centres for Amazon Web Services (AWS) in cape town but its eCommerce services had until now, not been available in Africa.
Amazon is branching out
Amazon’s latest move to set up its e-commerce operations in South Africa suggests that the company is cementing its footprint in the country. The company started doing business in Cape Town in April 2020 as it launched its data centres for Amazon Web Services (AWS).
A statement published on the Amazon website last year reads in part:
“Amazon Web Services (AWS) is announcing the immediate availability of the AWS Africa (Cape Town) Region, which is the first AWS Region in Africa. The AWS Africa (Cape Town) Region consists of three Availability Zones and with this launch, AWS now offers 23 Regions and 73 Availability Zones worldwide, serving customers in over 190 countries”.
“The AWS Africa (Cape Town) Region adds to the list of AWS investments in the growth of South Africa, which include the launch of Direct Connect in 2017, the introduction of Amazon CloudFront to South Africa in 2018, and the launch of two new edge locations in Johannesburg and Cape Town.”
Amid a plethora of challenges plaguing the e-commerce sector in Africa, Amazon is joining the struggle. This poses a great threat to the survival of Africa’s biggest e-commerce company, Jumia, whose profitability is still hanging in the balance despite its rocky listing on the New York stock exchange.
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