Cloud Computing Trends In Africa (Information for Africa)

By Kevin Onuma (Chief Editor at InformAfrica)

InformAfrica – ‘Cloud computing trends in Africa’ is a regularly updated post page with information and resources providing insight into Africa’s cloud computing space, including in the mobile arena.

Cloud computing in Africa, mobile apps cloud

Cloud computing refers to applications and services offered over the Internet. These services are offered from data centers all over the world, which collectively are referred to as the “cloud.” This metaphor represents the intangible, yet universal nature of the Internet.

After observing the importance of cloud computing in today’s booming technology markets on a global scale; InformAfrica’s web-research team looked around the web for cloud computing trends specifically related to Africa, including the necessary information Africans ought to know in terms of cloud innovation on the continent.

To do this, we began by doing a search term on Google for “cloud computing africa“, and the first result that caught out attention is “Cloud Computing World Forum Africa“, a forum where people discuss the latest topics in cloud, security, mobile, applications, communications, virtualization, etc.

According to the website, Cloud Computing World Forum Africa brings together the IT sector’s most recognisable names and faces for a one day insight into a technology that’s changing the shape of world business.

A cloud strategy in Africa makes absolute sense

A cloud strategy in Africa makes absolute sense. (Photo: EComCanada)

A second trend that caught our attention is an article on CloudTweaks, titled “Africa: Cloud Computing’s Secret Weapon“. In the post, the writer made mention of factors affecting Africa’s information technology, which includes: insufficient access to adequate power for data centers; the lack of sufficient broadband and telecommunications heft; and the nonexistence of any infrastructure that could currently sustain a major technological overhaul. The article is a good read.

The third cloud computing trend picked by InformAfrica’s web research team was discovered on Wired, and titled “Africa: Ultimate Proving Ground for the Cloud?”  The article identified a Nairobi-based mobile app developer,  Shimba Technologies, and how it could lead to the ultimate proving ground for not only the cloud in corporate Africa, but also – that of America.

However, making cloud computing work in Africa remains a non-trivial problem, according to Sean Gallagher, who writes for Ars Technica’s IT department. He continued — just ask anyone who has run a data center there — they will tell you how expensive and frustrating it can be to work on a continent where it’s often cheaper to connect back to an overseas data center from a co-location facility than to connect with a customer a few miles away; where most people don’t even have landline, let alone wired Internet; and where the electrical grid could suddenly stop working for hours or even days at a time.

Those very challenges make Africa an increasingly attractive proving ground for cloud computing, though, especially for mobile applications.

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Our fourth cloud computing trend is a group we found on Linkedin via Google search known as “Cloud Computing in Africa“. It seems the group was created for networking with cloud computing professionals and business-minded individuals specifically interested in the cloud innovation. It was founded December 16 2010 by Moussa Dao, an Ugandan.

Last but not the least, our fifth cloud computing trend in Africa was found on CloudAve, and it’s titled “Reaching Africa Through Mobile And Cloud Computing“. Though the cloud computing topic was published in 2009, the writer talks about current trends on how cloud computing and mobile technology can help people in Africa by offering technological solutions for their everyday needs.

The article also gave an example of how teachers in Ethiopia are tapping into Microsoft Azure Cloud to plan and download curriculum, keep track of academic records and securely transfer the student data to make it available throughout the education system.

Out of the one billion people in Africa, only an estimated 140 million use the Internet, but over 600 million use mobile phones, according to a World Bank data.

In conclusion, though cloud computing is not so much of a new technology in developed economies; Africa is way behind in terms of cloud innovation. With the growth of Africa’s mobile market, mobile cloud apps for instance will play a remarkable role in the transformation of  the continent’s economies; improving education, public health, and Africa’s business environment.


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