Kenya to host second Oracle regional data centre in Africa

The regional data centre will drive the digital transformation of government, public institutions, businesses and start-ups in Kenya

Kenya is set to host American technology giant Oracle Corporation’s regional data centre. This will be Oracle’s second facility of its kind in Africa. The announcement came following a meeting between a high-level Kenyan delegation led by President William Ruto and CS Ministry of Information and the Digital Economy, Eliud Owalo, and a delegation from Oracle, led by Senior Vice-President Scott Twaddle.

President Ruto highlighted the significance of Oracle’s investment, stating, “This announcement underscores Oracle’s commitment to Africa and is aimed at driving the digital transformation of government, public institutions, businesses, and start-ups in Kenya.” The move aligns with Kenya’s strategy to enhance its digital infrastructure, create digital job opportunities, and digitise government services, further solidifying Kenya’s position as a prime destination for international IT companies.

“We are delighted to see Oracle planning 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 Kenyan citizens, especially in the creation of jobs,” noted President Ruto.

During the meeting, Oracle reiterated its dedication to aiding Kenya in achieving its economic objectives and fostering transformation through the deployment of cutting-edge cloud technologies. Leveraging Kenya’s robust renewable energy sources and advanced digital infrastructure, including extensive submarine and national connectivity, Oracle aims to position Nairobi as a pivotal hub for its cloud services in Africa.

Oracle’s decision to establish a data centre in Kenya follows the successful launch of its first facility in Africa in 2022, located in Johannesburg, South Africa. This expansion aligns with Oracle’s global strategy to enhance its Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) presence, with plans to open 44 such centres worldwide by the end of this year. The Johannesburg data centre marked a significant milestone for Oracle, positioning the organisation alongside industry peers such as Microsoft and Amazon, who also operate facilities in South Africa.

“There is a possibility of further cloud regions, including West Africa. The move to establish a hub in Nairobi underscores our commitment to expanding our footprint across the African continent. This decision is driven by the region’s growing demand for cloud services and digital transformation initiatives,” noted Cherian Varghese, Oracle’s regional managing director for the Middle East and Africa. By facilitating the digital transformation of the Kenyan government, public institutions, enterprises, startups, universities, and investors, Oracle seeks to catalyse innovation and growth.

The announcement comes amidst Kenya’s burgeoning tech ecosystem, with recent developments including the launch of Amazon Web Services’ development centre in Nairobi last October. President Ruto lauded this milestone, emphasising its potential to create job opportunities for the youth and boost Kenya’s competitiveness in the global tech landscape. He reiterated the government’s commitment to investing in education to nurture Kenya’s human capital, fostering an environment conducive to attracting investment from leading tech companies like Oracle and Amazon.

“We are delighted to extend our commitment to helping 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. 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,” noted Scott Twaddle, Senior Vice President of Product and Industries at Oracle Cloud Infrastructure.

With OCI’s distinctive cloud architecture, Oracle is poised to deliver a comprehensive suite of over 100 hyperscale cloud services. This technological prowess presents immense opportunities for both the government and the private sector to enhance the ease of doing business and spur economic development.

“Oracle’s initiative will directly drive Kenya’s Bottom-up Economic Transformation Agenda. This agenda, focusing on digital transformation, private sector development, agricultural transformation, housing development, and healthcare modernisation, aligns seamlessly with Oracle’s vision for the region,” explained Eliud Owalo, Cabinet Secretary of the Ministry of Information, Communications, and the Digital Economy.

John Tanui, the Principal Secretary, State Department of ICT, also emphasised the pivotal role of the data centre in bolstering Kenya’s digital infrastructure and facilitating the government’s digital transformation agenda. He emphasised the importance of connectivity infrastructure and job creation, underscoring the data centre’s potential to fuel Kenya’s technological advancement.

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