Google has confirmed that it will launch its first Cloud region in Africa, choosing South Africa as its base of operations.

This is according to Google’s Cloud Leader for Africa, Niral Patel, who spoke at the tech giant’s second Google4Africa conference.

“Today, we are deepening our commitment to investing in Africa’s digital transformation,” Patel said.

“I am excited to announce our intent to open a Google Cloud region in South Africa. Our first on the continent.”

Citing AlphaBeta Economics research, Patel said it is estimated the South African Cloud region would contribute $2.1 billion (R37 billion) to South Africa’s GDP and support the creation of more than 40,000 jobs by 2030.

Regarding benefits for businesses in the region, Patel said the move would allow for the localisation of applications and services.

This, in turn, will make it easier and faster for South African and African businesses to use Google’s Compute, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and data analytics tools.

Patel also announced that Google would build dedicated cloud interconnect sites in four African locations: Cape Town, Johannesburg, Lagos, and Nairobi.

“In doing so, we are building full-scale cloud capability for Africa,” Patel stated.

During a media briefing, Patel said he could not reveal whether Google would build its own data centres or partner with local operators, or precisely where its facilities would be located.

In June 2022, Africa Data Centres revealed that Google had chosen the data centre provider as the first location for a Google Cloud Interconnect in Africa.

“Hyperscaler cloud providers have been eyeing the region for some time, with Amazon opening its first African cloud data centre in South Africa in April 2020,” said Africa Data Centres CEO Tesh Durvasula.

During the Google4Africa keynote address, Google managing director for Sub-Saharan Africa, Nitin Gajria, noted that the company’s Equiano undersea cable has landed in Togo, Nigeria, Namibia, and South Africa.

He added that Google plans to commence operations on the cable before the end of 2022.

Equiano is the largest undersea cable ever built to serve the African continent. It runs along the West coast, offering twelve fibre pairs that can each carry 12Tbps of traffic for a total of 144Tbps design capacity.

Openserve, Liquid Intelligent Technologies, and WIOCC have all confirmed that they have bought a fibre pair each on the new cable.