The scramble for Africa’s data is happening on the cloud – Vophs Africa.

Demand for cloud-based services in Africa is growingbut the continental tech ecosystem is largely underrepresented in delivering these services.

While the number of data centers across Africa has grown, running and maintaining on-premise servers incurs huge additional costs. Server maintenance costs, power consumption, and maintaining top cloud talent cost local companies more than they bargained for.

“No African cloud provider or data center can ever match what Google, AWS and Microsoft provide. Guaranteed security at an affordable price,” Andrew Morey, CEO of South African cloud talent startup Demos, told Vophs. Told to

Save for Harare-based Liquid Intelligent Technologies, which is gradually pushing cloud penetration, most local cloud companies are finding it difficult to navigate the waters dominated by Google Cloud, AWS and Microsoft Azure. But even liquid costs are relatively high and many startups plug into US-based tech giants’ cloud, scalable, affordable and secure cloud systems despite popularizing the slogan ‘Africa’s cloud is liquid’.

A history of cloud computing in Africa

Citing cybersecurity and data privacy concerns, most government agencies and companies previously used their own in-house data servers for storage and cloud computing. But as digital transformation takes hold across the continent, many are fed up with the increased risks of low cloud scalability, difficulties in support and compliance, and are forced to abandon their cloud projects. Unable to build better data centers and cloud software, many African countries are riding on the Big Three in the cloud business to run their operations, and now trust them with their private data.

“It’s hard to get top cloud computing staff willing to join Google. We don’t have the financial strength to pay as well as Google but we try to pay more than local rates,” says Mori.

As African businesses and governments find it convenient to pay only for the cloud resources they use, with no maintenance or salary costs to operate their cloud infrastructure.

How Africa is being colonized by data.

But here’s a caveat. Africa’s high dependence on the US for cloud services is a breeding ground. Data colonialismwhere advanced economies prey on Africa’s massive data resources from which they extract economic value.

A digital stampede is underway for Africa by global tech companies, and the prize is Africa’s data, which is being used to inform solutions to the continent’s many challenges.

“Big Tech offers super-affordable cloud services to Africans and proceeds to train rural citizens in digital skills for free and even offers free online courses to university students. But nothing is free. Instead, Africans pay with their private data,” Mustafa Sheikh, deputy director general of Somalia’s Communications Authority, told Vophs.

Sheikh alleges that this data is secretly but rapidly analyzed using artificial intelligence (AI), and tech gurus can figure out what an African wants in seconds. “In the next minute, his ads will start coming through Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, Google and even SMS.”

But Google They say it is a priority In cloud business, the privacy of user and organizational data is protected. “Every day, we work to create a safer Internet by making our products secure by default, private by design, and putting you in control of your data,” said Jane Fitpatrick, Senior Vice President President, Core Systems and Google Experiences said in May.

Microsoft, which 100 million dollars has been invested. In Africa Cloud Business, says that with advanced encryption, it “protects both your data At rest and in transit” AWS says this. Allows users. Control your data “Using powerful AWS services and tools to determine where your data is stored, how it’s stored, and who has access to it.” However, Microsoft’s Azure cloud was hacked Google’s Cloud on August 19 Offline Last November, and the AWS system A violation was committed In May and his former employer Paige Thompson Convicted in June, 2022 for his role in a 2019 capital one violation.

Compared to other markets, Africa is extremely vulnerable. Figures colonized as most nations, though they try, Lack of adequate data protections to prevent leakage of confidential information. This data, once extracted, is kept in offshore databases where African innovators and startups cannot access it. This type of data residency means that startups cannot use this data to make timely business decisions. It also forces governments to keep asking for user data to understand their citizens.

Africa’s share of the global cloud market is less than 1%

Africa accounts for 16% of the world’s population and about 5% of global GDP, but only a fraction of it. Less than 1% Global public cloud services revenue according to Xalam Analytics’ Rise of the Africa Cloud report. Africa has cloud penetration. Less than 20%.

Winston Ritson, Group Head of Cloud at Liquid Intelligent Technologies is concerned Piracy can be a major obstacle to Africa’s efforts to innovate and supply homegrown cloud software. “Many businesses continue to use on-premise versions of software that are pirated. While this is true around the world, it is especially true in Africa, where price sometimes eclipses security or features. ”

2018 Report of the Software Alliance says that The overall rate of pirated software across the Middle East and Africa is 56%. Libya and Zimbabwe lead the world in pirated cloud software with 90% and 89% respectively.

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