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In a bid to bring its cloud services (Microsoft Azure, Office 365, Dynamics 365, and OneDrive among others), the Redmond tech giant is setting up its first data centers in Africa in Cape Town and Johannesburg, South Africa.

The data centers are expected to be up and running sometime in 2018, and with it, will come enterprise-grade reliability and performance. Coupled with data residency that will go a long way to serve the increasing need for cloud computing services that comes with the increasing economic growth across Africa. The data centers will further enhance access to cloud and internet services for big organizations and entrepreneurs across the continent.

Scott Guthrie, the Executive VP, Cloud and Enterprise Group, Microsoft Corp., said, “We’re excited by the growing demand for cloud services in Africa and their ability to be a catalyst for new economic opportunities. With cloud services ranging from intelligent collaborations 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.”

As of now, most of the cloud services serving companies across Africa are supplied from overseas. The move by Microsoft to set up its own data centers on the continent will provide highly available, scalable, and secure cloud services to users across Africa.

Alongside the news of setting up two data centers in Africa, Microsoft has also announced its planned 40 new world regions addition to its global cloud infrastructure. A move the company says will accelerate new investments and improve access to cloud and internet services to more people and organizations.

No doubt access to cloud and internet services will increase from Cairo to Cape Town and across the continent. More and more organizations are turning to cloud-based solutions to set up innovative cutting edge solutions in fields such as healthcare, education, agriculture, and entrepreneurship.

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