Microsoft have revealed plans to deliver their suite of cloud services, including Microsoft Azure, Office 365, and Dynamics 365, from their first ever data centres in Afrika to be located in Johannesburg and Cape Town, South Africa. Microsoft have said they anticipate availability of the first data centre by 2018.

β€œWe’re excited by the growing demand for cloud services in Africa and their ability to be a catalyst for new economic opportunities,” said Scott Guthrie, executive vice president, Cloud and Enterprise Group, Microsoft.

The announcement is refreshing in that oft times when Afrikan businesses and individuals use cloud services, the data centres are located outside the continent. The announcement also means South Africa is among the 40 regions around the world where Microsoft data centres will be located.

β€œWith cloud services ranging from intelligent collaboration to predictive analytics, the Microsoft Cloud delivered from Africa will enable developers to build new and innovative apps, customers to transform their businesses, and governments to better serve the needs of their citizens.” added Guthrie.

The move by Microsoft has also been welcomed by South Africa's State Information Technology Agency (SITA) CEO, Dr. Setumo Mohapi, who said that it "broadens the options available to us in our modernisation journey of Government ICT infrastructure and services. It allows us to take advantage of new opportunities to develop innovative government solutions at manageable costs, as well as drive overall improvements in operations management, while improving transparency and accountability,".

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