Amazon has announced that its AWS Africa Region in Cape Town has been opened.

This has been a long time coming and those who make use of AWS and are looking for better latency, greater control over their data and potential cost savings will likely be incredibly happy to hear this news.

An AWS Region are made up of Availability Zones. These are one or more data centres in separate geographic regions so as to offset the risk of all the zones being impacted by one event. Simply put, this mitigates the risk of a single point of failure.

The AWS Africa (Cape Town) Region is comprised of three Availability Zones.

“Each Availability Zone has independent power, cooling, and physical security and is connected via redundant, ultra-low-latency networking. AWS customers focused on high availability can design their applications to run in multiple Availability Zones to achieve even greater fault-tolerance.  Like all AWS infrastructure regions around the world, the Availability Zones in the Cape Town Region are equipped with back-up power to ensure continuous and reliable power availability to maintain operations during electrical failures and load shedding in the country,” wrote Amazon in a press release.

The other benefit of having an AWS Region here in South Africa is data sovereignty. Being able to keep data within the borders of South Africa is a big deal with legislation such as the Protection of Personal Information Act (PoPIA) expected to come into effect, eventually.

“With this new AWS infrastructure region, developers, enterprises, start-ups, Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), education institutions, and governments can leverage the benefits of AWS to start their own businesses, drive innovation, build new products and services, and help citizens across Africa,” said chief technology officer and VP of Amazon, Werner Vogels.

The Amazon VP says that the launch of the AWS region will likely assist in building digital tools that can help address the spread of COVID-19.

Indeed, AWS Partner Network partner iOCO, helped build out the website for the Solidarity Fund. A group of local developers was also able to spin up the website COVID Connect where hospitals and clinics can issue calls for food, water and medical supplies. That website was also built using AWS.

As to what services are available at the AWS Region you can head to this URL to see what is available.

You can also head to this URL to find out more about AWS and to sign up for an account.