The Rise of the African Cloud

The African cloud has arrived. By the end of the year 2019, at least four hyperscale data centers will become operational in the African continent, offering hundreds of enterprise and consumer services from within Africa’s shores. At least two more are expected in 2020, as the battle between global cloud providers intensifies, with Microsoft, AWS, Google, Huawei or VMWare all jockeying for the opportunity to build the foundations for Africa’s entry into the fourth industrial revolution.

Xalam’s Rise of the African Cloud is arguably the most comprehensive analysis available on African private and public cloud services markets. Including analysis of enterprise demand and industry-level use cases; market sizing and forecasting; competitive analysis; African cloud investment case; and much, much more.

Pages of analysis
Cloud Providers
growth over next 2 years

Report Summary

The African cloud has arrived. While the cloud services sector is in its early stages of development, the impact of cloud services is already far-reaching. African banks are making investments in machine learning and artificial intelligence tools to improve the customer experience and credit risk; new “digital banks” are emerging, that are, at least in part, cloud-based. Governments are using cloud and virtualized infrastructure to enhance public service delivery. Large retail firms are using compute capabilities and AWS databases to transform how they reach a predominantly mobile and digital customer base. And scores of African cloud-native startups are leveraging the cloud to disrupt entire industry sectors.

The African cloud may be small, but it is already here indeed, and it is growing fast. For African markets, cloud, virtualization and the broader evolution towards serverless computing are the most disruptive technology developments since the advent of the mobile payment revolution. Few other segments in the African ICT space are as likely to generate an incremental $2bn in top line revenue over the next five years, and at least as much in adjacent enabling ecosystem revenue.

This report is about the near term economic, commercial and investor value opportunity offered by the rise of the African cloud. Building on Xalam’s established analysis of African enterprise and digital infrastructure markets, 18 months of research and 100+ interviews and conversations, The Rise of the African Cloud explores the readiness of African markets for thriving private and public cloud services; it analyzes cloud demand and use case patterns, at segment level, from financial services to the public sector and startups; it estimates and projects cloud services market size; it details the competitive strengths of global hyperscale cloud providers and how their battle is translating in the African context; it outlines the impact of cloud services on Africa’s managed service provider ecosystem and telcos’ evolving enterprise businesses; and it breaks down the investment case within the African cloud value chain, from enterprise connectivity to data centers and SaaS.

This report does not pretend to have all the answers. But it does pretend to offer, at long last, the most comprehensive picture available on African cloud services markets.

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