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Tech - November 3, 2022

Amazon Opens Office in Lagos Nigeria 

Amazon Web Services (AWS) has opened its office in Lagos, Nigeria. This comes five years after it’s office in Johannesburg opened its doors in 2017.

With this move, AWS will be closer to supporting African companies. AWS already serves a number of Nigerian startups, including SeamlessHR, Yellow Card, BFree, Bankly, and public sector organisations.

The Amazon Web Services in Lagos location will contain teams of account managers, partner managers, solutions architects, and other jobs that support customers in Nigeria. It is AWS’s most recent investment in Africa.

According to the regional manager of Sub-Saharan Africa at Amazon Web Service, Amrote Abdella “Lagos offers a highly skilled and creative talent pool, and the area is home to many fast-growing startups and notable Nigerian enterprises leading the way in digital innovation.” 

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The rise of international cloud companies in the African space

The rise of international cloud companies building data centres and trying to create a presence on the African continent have increased over the past six years. 

In 2016, IBM unveiled its first data centre in Africa. In March 2019, Huawei opened two data centres in South Africa, while Microsoft later that month announced its first Azure data centre in Cape Town and Johannesburg. Huawei also has intentions to expand to Nigeria.

With the introduction of its first African Google Cloud region in South Africa in October 2022, Google entered the African market.

These actions show that there is interest in the African connectivity and cloud computing sector and that there are numerous opportunities. 

The growth of startups in Africa, the majority of which are software firms, has raised demand for cloud computing services. Businesses often take into account how close cloud servers are to the sources of their customers’ requests.

The lower the latency, which in turn enhances the quality of services, the closer these servers are to the customers. There are presently 26 operational AWS regions and 8 more that are being developed.

As the number of internet users on the continent is expected to grow from 239 million in 2018 to 483 million in 2025, cloud-based applications are becoming an increasingly important part of the African modern workplace and way of life.

Nigeria’s minister of communications comment 

The National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) highlights the significance of digital platforms in the creation of a strong digital economy. 

Isa Pantami, Nigeria’s minister of communications and digital economy comments on the announcement, “We are excited to work with Amazon Web Services to speed up the implementation of NDEPS because their programmes assist the development of such platforms.”

Despite the obvious necessity for businesses to migrate to the cloud, this cannot happen without help. 

In addition to free cloud credit to give new customers an idea of what’s available before they commit significant sums of money to pay for the service, technical support and training are essential for a seamless transition.

Through initiatives like AWS Activate, which offers startups resources including $100,000 in AWS credits, training, support, and connections to incubators, accelerators, and venture capital firms, AWS has over the years encouraged the migration of Nigerian businesses to the cloud.

Students, educators, and startups can benefit from educational programmes like AWS Academy, AWS Educate, and AWS re/Start by gaining knowledge and skills about AWS Cloud computing. 

The University of Benin, University of Jos, and Igbinedion University are all members of the AWS Academy in Nigeria. Three states —Lagos, Edo, Benue —in Nigeria has the AWS re/Start initiative in operation. The AWS Nigeria user group has more than 3,500 members.

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