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Africa News

Oracle to open cloud
region in Kenya

The cloud database giant will invest in a new data centre in Nairobi, writes ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK.

Oracle, the global cloud database leader, is set to open a public cloud region in Nairobi, Kenya, in response to demand for Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) services across Africa.

The news comes almost exactly two years after it announced the opening of its first cloud region in Africa, to meet a rapidly growing demand for enterprise cloud services on the continent. The Oracle Cloud Johannesburg Region represented a major investment in a local data centre. 

A new data centre will now be constructed in Nairobi, to extend Oracle’s cloud reach across the continent.

The announcement was presided over by William Ruto, President of Kenya, who expressed delight at

“such an important investment in Kenya”.

 “I am excited to see major technology companies like Oracle investing in Kenya and bringing state of the art technologies like AI and cloud applications that will benefit to Kenyan citizens especially in creation of jobs,” said Ruto. 

Oracle leaders with President William Ruto

An Oracle delegation led by Scott Twaddle, senior vice president responsible for OCI product and industries, met with Ruto and Eliud Owalo, cabinet secretary for the Ministry of Information, Communications, and the Digital Economy in Kenya. They said Oracle was committed to helping the country meet its economic goals and transformation by deploying the latest cloud technologies. 

Oracle will also be taking advantage of the Kenya’s renewable energy and digital infrastructure. In particular, it has extensive submarine connectivity, with a number of undersea cables connecting the country to the global Internet via a landing point in Mombasa.  

Oracle said in a statement: ‘The planned public cloud region in Nairobi underscores Oracle’s commitment to Africa and aims to help drive the digital transformation of the Kenyan government, public institutions, enterprises, startups, universities, and investors in Kenya and the continent. Oracle intends to continue expanding OCI’s footprint on the continent, which already includes the Oracle Cloud Johannesburg Region in South Africa.”

The specific cloud architecture developed for OCI enables Oracle to offer a full suite of more than 100 hyperscale cloud services, which will allow the Kenyan government and private sector to leverage the cloud and its potential more effectively.

Owalo said that the cloud region in Nairobi “will be a key component of Kenya’s Bottom up Economic Transformation Agenda initiative, which is focused on digital transformation, private sector development, agricultural transformation, housing development, and healthcare modernization”. 

Twaddle said it would help Kenya accelerate the digital transformation of its government and private sector.

“OCI is leveraged by governments and companies across the world as a scalable and secure platform for mission critical workloads on which to drive innovation and transformation,” he said. “We already have a strong business in Kenya, and the upcoming public cloud region in Nairobi represents a significant next step forward in helping support the country’s economic goals.” 

At the time of the announcement of the Johannesburg cloud region, Mark Walker, associate vice president for Sub-Saharan Africa at the International Data Corporation (IDC), said public cloud services adoption in Sub-Saharan Africa was accelerating at 25% compound annual growth every year between 2020 and 2025.

“The role of cloud in enabling innovation is underscored by the priority organisations have given to it as part of their digital transformation initiatives,” he said. “Cloud-based technologies have helped organisations weather the Covid-19 crisis and cloud is now helping them build resilient organisations that can withstand uncertainties.

“Our survey of CIOs in South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria highlights that an in-country data center is an important factor for 60% of organisations that are planning to adopt cloud over the next 12-18 months.”

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