How Telcos and Regional Service Providers Can Create a Multi-million Dollar Revenue Business by Building an In-country Public Cloud

Executive Summary

The African market is ripe for disruption. The economic, political and technological challenges, while acting as a barrier to cloud adoption, have also created opportunities for local players to step in and fill the gaps that the absence of the big four cloud providers has created – in the form of in-country public clouds.

The likes of Microsoft, Amazon and Google may be able to justify a move into the market by setting up regions in the more developed countries. But for a large part of the continent, where the market size and the scale does not justify setting up availability regions, the latent demand is calling out to service providers with open arms.

It is now up to telcos, local data centres, ISPs in the region, and small service providers to step in, step up and enable a change in the African technology landscape. A multi-million dollar revenue opportunity awaits and is right there in plain sight.

Cloud computing has taken the world by storm in a very short time, with organisations, globally, adopting the technology and making use of its vast potential. While companies across various industries in the developed world have seen its immense potential and have been quick in shifting their applications to the cloud, developing countries that were typically slow on the uptake have been catching up rapidly. Countries like South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria and Ivory Coast have already caught up with the technology trends with a considerable number of enterprises in these countries shifting their applications to the cloud.

The rest of Africa, especially the North, however, has not been as fortunate in seeing a cloud boom. Markets like Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, Sudan and Libya are closer to the hyperscale availability regions in European and the Middle East than their African counterparts. However, the need for data localisation has fostered a latent demand from local enterprises, SMBs, healthcare, educational and financial institutions. Moreover, the currency fluctuations with respect to the US Dollar add to the challenges faced in cloud serviceability by the hyperscale providers.

Combined, this has created a great opportunity for telcos, data centres, ISPs and local service providers to step in and fill the cloud void. This white paper explores the challenges and how they present a multi-million dollar revenue opportunity and a business case for in-country public clouds in Africa


  1. State of the Cloud in Africa – This chapter talks about how various countries in Africa are placed with respect to cloud availability and readiness.
  2. The African Challenge – This section explores the challenges arising due to data localisation, latency and connectivity requirements, and USD fluctuations and how they impact overall cloud adoption in the region.
  3. The Absence of the Big Four and the Opportunity for the Local Providers – This section explores the gap that exists and is widening between the rising demand for local cloud services and the inability of the hyperscale cloud providers in addressing the challenges in the region; and how local service providers can tap into this opportunity to create a parallel business line with a multi-million Dollar revenue potential.
  4. The Mantras for Building an In-country Public Cloud Business – This section gives a high-level cheatsheet and factors to consider while pursuing the in-country public cloud opportunity.
  5. Conclusion

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