African cloud market set to double over the next five years

Report links Africa's booming cloud sector to African banks' investments in machine learning and AI, among other factors


The African cloud market will grow to a value of $1.7bn in 2019 and is then set to double over the next five years, revealed a new report from Research and Markets that proclaimed "the African cloud has arrived".

While the sector is still in the early stages of development, it is already having a far-reaching impact, Research and Markets noted, and it is growing fast.

One driving factor behind the growth is that African banks are investing heavily in machine learning (ML) and AI in an effort to improve customer experience and credit risk. This has prompted an emergence of 'digital banks' that are often cloud-based.

Another factor noted in the report, entitled The Rise of the African Cloud: Azure, AWS, Vmware and the Battle to Transform African Enterprise Markets , was that of African governments using cloud and virtualized infrastructures to improve the delivery of public services. Large retail firms on the continent are also finding ways to reach their predominantly mobile and digital customers by leveraging compute capabilities and AWS databases. Meanwhile, a growing number of cloud-native startups across Africa are propelling growth as they look to "disrupt entire industry sectors".

"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," Research and Markets explained. "Few other segments in the African ICT space are as likely to generate an incremental $2bn in topline revenue over the next five years, and at least as much in adjacent enabling ecosystem revenue."

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