Amazon operates Amazon Web Services which is the biggest cloud computing platform in the world. They have several data centres around the world but their presence in Africa has been largely small.
Today, President Uhuru Kenyatta met with executives of Amazon Web Services (AWS) led by Vice President Teresa Carlson. They informed the president that they have plans to set up an “edge location” in Nairobi. The meeting was a follow up to a discussion the President had with the group when he made an official visit to Washington last year.
An edge location is a site that caches copies of content so that there will be faster delivery to users at a location.
There are several benefits of setting up an edge location in Nairobi. It will be an easy and cost effective way to distribute data housed in Kenya to thousands of users with low latency and high data transfer speeds.
“I’m delighted to welcome AWS’s investment in Kenya. The launch of Amazon CloudFront will put us in the forefront of accelerated innovation – enabling startups, enterprises and our government agencies to focus on building the best user experience,” the President said.
Ms Carlson said that Amazon will also provide training in digital skills and help in creation of quality jobs for the youth in Kenya.
The AWS Global Infrastructure network spans 22 geographic regions and 69 availability zones. They are planning 13 more availability zones and 4 more AWS regions. They plan to open an AWS Region in South Africa in the first half in 2020 which would serve Sub-Saharan Africa.
In Africa, there are only 2 edge locations: In Johannesburg and in Capetown. Nairobi will become the third city in Africa to have an AWS edge location and we have to wait and see how fast Amazon will set that up.