Amazon Web Services to launch its Local Zone in Kenya to accelerate innovation

KENYA – Amazon Web Services, Inc. (AWS), an Amazon.com, Inc. company, has announced plans to launch an AWS Local Zone in Kenya.

The new AWS Local Zone(s) in Kenya will join 16 existing AWS Local Zones across the United States and an additional 32 AWS Local Zones planned to launch in 26 countries around the world starting in 2022.

AWS Local Zones deliver single-digit millisecond latency performance at the edge of the cloud to hundreds of millions of people worldwide.

“The new AWS Local Zone in Kenya is a continuation of our investment to support customers of all kinds and our commitment to accelerate innovation by bringing cloud infrastructure to more locations in the country,” said Robin Njiru, Regional Lead, East, West and Central Africa at Amazon Web Services.

“We know that delivering ultra-low latency applications for a seamless user experience matters in every business and industry, so we are excited to bring the edge of the cloud closer to more customers in Kenya to help meet their requirements.

“AWS Local Zones will empower more public and private organizations, innovative startups, and AWS partners to deliver a new generation of leading edge, low-latency applications to end users. Customers can take advantage of the cost savings, scalability, and high availability that AWS provides.”

AWS manages and supports Local Zones, meaning customers in Kenya do not need to incur the expense and effort of procuring, operating, and maintaining infrastructure in Nairobi to support low-latency applications.

AWS Local Zones also allow customers with local data residency requirements in Kenya to run parts of their applications in on-premises data centers and seamlessly connect to AWS while ensuring ultra-low latency for these types of hybrid deployments—all while using familiar AWS APIs and tools.

“We are pleased to launch AWS Local Zone in Kenya. This announcement reaffirms our country’s position as an attractive place to invest, powered by a high volume of local talented developers,” Cabinet Secretary for the Ministry of ICT, Innovation and Youth Affairs, Mr Joseph Mucheru said.

“It will boost the adoption of advanced cloud-based technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Internet of Things while helping to ensure secure use across the Kenyan technology sector.”

The new AWS Local Zones will give customers in Kenya the ability to offer end users single-digit millisecond performance designed to suit applications such as remote real-time gaming, media and entertainment content creation, live video streaming, engineering simulations, augmented and virtual reality, machine learning inference at the edge, and more.

Customers can connect to AWS Local Zones through an internet connection or use AWS Direct Connect—a cloud service that links an organization’s network directly to AWS to deliver consistent, secure, low-latency performance—to route traffic over a private AWS network connection.

“We believe an AWS Local Zone will enable us to further enhance our cloud offerings, especially to our Enterprise and SME customers, and migrate more of our own services to the Cloud,” said Peter Ndegwa, CEO of Safaricom PLC, a local partner of Amazon Web Services.

“Customer obsession remains a key focus for Safaricom and with this local presence driven by our partnership with Amazon, we will now achieve increased speed, stability, reliability, and storage to support innovation and development of future-fit solutions.”

AWS Local Zones are a type of infrastructure deployment that places AWS compute, storage, database, and other services at the edge of the cloud near large population, industry, and information technology (IT) centers—enabling customers to deploy applications that require single-digit millisecond latency closer to end users or on-premises data centers.

AWS Local Zones allow customers to use core AWS services locally while seamlessly connecting to the rest of their workloads running in AWS Regions with the same elasticity, pay-as-you-go model, application programming interfaces (APIs), and toolsets.

International brands in Kenya

In the past three weeks, Kenya has seen international brands setting their offices in the country. Last month Microsoft’s premier engineering hub, the African Development Centre (ADC), relocated its own offices in Nairobi, demonstrating the company’s commitment to the continent.

Earlier this month, global digital payments company Visa opened its first African Innovation Studio in Kenya, its first in Africa and sixth globally, after posts in Dubai, London, Miami, San Francisco and Singapore.

The new centre has been designed to support Visa partners in the region with access to develop solutions that strengthen their capabilities to develop fintech products.

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