Earlier this week Deputy Minister of Communications, Pinky Kekana, confirmed her pleasure over Microsoft’s decision to invest in African continent by building two data centres in South Africa. She made these comments at the 4th instalment of the Microsoft Annual Trusted Cloud Policy Summit held at the Sun City Convention Centre.

According to SA News, the investment is one of the biggest Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) initiative in Africa to date. This comes after Microsoft South Africa announced the availability of Microsoft Azure services via local data centres in the country, which became the first global cloud provider to deliver hyper-scale cloud services from data centres located on the continent.

“It is an affirmation to South Africa that the impossible is achievable if we all come together, as government, the private sector and civil society. It is important to note that these data centres contribute to our economy in job terms. Approximately 100 000 new jobs will occur as a result of this investment,” explained Kekana.

Furthermore SA News said that the data centres will be located in Johannesburg and Cape Town. Government departments, state-owned Entities (SOE’s), large businesses, small and medium business (SMB’s) and citizens will be able to use massive computing power to fuel South Africa’s inclusive growth spur innovation, accelerate digital transformation, and advance technologies including artificial cloud and edge computing in local market.

“Not only is it a remarkable display in confidence in the South African government, it is also an illustration that the claration call of Thuma Mina did not just end in Cape Town or around our borders, it also reached Silicon Valley with great speed,” said Kekana.

The Deputy Minister also responded to concerns raised by many about the rise of artificial intelligence, in particular that it may result in the elimination of jobs, worsen inequality and or erode incomes.

“The fact of the matter is that technology brings about efficiencies on a greater scale. I have no doubt that artificial intelligence in South Africa will certainly create new areas of economic opportunity and to some extent, it will create new categories of employment. This includes but not limited to software developers, networking and cyber security,” concluded the Deputy Minister.

[Source – SA News] [Image – CC 0 Pixabay]