Oracle said it opened a data centre at Johannesburg, South Africa to provide cloud services across Africa for the first time.
Africa will be the U.S. company’s 37th cloud region, Oracle said in a news statement.
Oracle is racing to open at least 44 cloud regions this year as it plans to catch up with cloud computing rivals such as Microsoft, Amazon and Google.
Though Oracle has no plans for more data centers in Africa this year, more could come next year as the company explores areas such as West Africa, Cherian Varghese, regional managing director for Middle East and Africa, told Reuters.
Increased demand for faster computing from African banks and telecom firms has attracted big cloud operators into the largely untapped market, with Microsoft the first to launch data centers in South Africa, followed by Amazon and Huawei.
Fast connectivity provided by a submarine communication cable and being Africa’s most developed economy have made South Africa a key location for cloud operators, with over 50 data centres in the country, mostly near Cape Town and Johannesburg.
U.S.-based Digital Realty is buying a majority stake in a Johannesburg-based date centre operator for $3.5 billion, while Vantage Data Centres has also announced plans to invest up to a billion dollars to set up a data centre in South Africa.