Amazon Sets Up Shop in Johannesburg

Web retailer and technology giant Amazon has announced plans to open an office of Amazon Web Services in Johannesburg and intends going on a hiring spree.

Web retailer and technology giant Amazon has announced plans to open an office of Amazon Web Services (AWS) in Johannesburg. The new office joins the established Amazon Development Centre in Cape Town, which has been in operation since 2004.

The US company plans to hire more than 250 engineers, network specialists, account managers and other technologists in the next 12 months in its Johannesburg and Cape Town offices.

“The new Johannesburg office has been launched to support the growing customer base of AWS. The office is now open and operational and is supporting organisations of all sizes, from start-ups to the country’s oldest and most established enterprises and public sector organisations, as they make the transition to the AWS cloud,” the company said in a statement on Thursday.

AWS is separate from Amazon’s retail e-commerce operations.

“The new office will have account managers, solutions architects, partner managers and various other functions for South African customers to directly engage with AWS,” the company said.

Amazon first established a presence in South Africa by opening a development centre in December 2004 to help build the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) service.

“Many of the more than 250 new roles in South Africa will be based here and will work on Amazon EC2 as well as the engineering of other new services as well as pioneering networking technologies and next generation cloud software,” the company said.

“Choosing to locate an AWS office in South Africa speaks to the rapidly growing customer base, the broad set of talent here and the investment we are making to support cloud adoption around the world. By expanding our presence in South Africa, and through hiring highly skilled staff, we intend to further accelerate the growth of our cloud customers in Africa and around the globe,” said AWS’s Europe, Middle East and Africa head Steve Midgley.

AWS’s South African clients include fast-growing businesses such as Entersekt, PayGate and Travelstart as well as established enterprises such as Adcorp, Standard Bank and Medscheme. The company revealed, too, that it is working with MTN. “The relationship with AWS is an important part of our plans to address the needs of enterprise customers in emerging markets, particularly Africa,” MTN South Africa CEO Mteto Nyati said in the statement.

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