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The Rise of the African Cloud - 2023: Public Clouds, Sovereign Clouds and the Commercial Case for Enabling Africa's Digital Transformation

  • Report

  • 180 Pages
  • May 2023
  • Region: Africa
  • Xalam Analytics
  • ID: 5791324

African companies are answering the irresistible call of the cloud. From the ability to scale operations, boost innovation and bolster business continuity in the face of inadequate power infrastructure, migrating to the cloud has become a central component of Africa’s digital transformation. 

Examples abound. In 2022, financial services group Old Mutual shut down its physical data centres to move its workloads almost entirely to the cloud. Airline company Comair consolidated a footprint of 6 physical data centers into a single cloud deployment. Startups like Cellulant and Kobo 360 continue to lead public cloud adoption, pushing and testing the boundaries of databases and machine learning in the African context. One of the continent’s largest telcos, MTN has been testing the deployment of the core of its future 5G stand-alone network into the public cloud - a seminal development that would put in the cloud the brains for one of the most significant technology deployments of the next decade. 

At last, the African market has entered the age of the cloud, a period of prodigious growth in Internet usage and extensive digitization of Africa’s productive capacity. The African cloud is now a multi-billion-dollar commercial opportunity growing at 25%-30% a year. It is also a highly dynamic and complex marketplace, where hyperscalers compete and partner with a broad range of telcos, data center providers and cloud specialists.

Building on 12 months of research, dozens of customer and service provider discussions and underpinned by proprietary cloud adoption surveys, this report provides arguably the most in-depth view publicly available into the surging potential of African cloud markets. The analysis explores key demand considerations, supply factors including infrastructure, market structure and competitive context. It also provides a deep quantitative view of market size and projections, at regional and key country levels.

Table of Contents

  • The African cloud services market in numbers
  • On the state of cloud adoption in Africa
  • On private, hybrid, public and multi clouds in Africa
  • On hyperscaler public cloud infrastructure in Africa - and the rise of sovereign clouds
  • On the size and growth of the African cloud commercial opportunity
  • On Africa’s cloud Big Five markets
  • On the outlook for African cloud markets
  • The African cloud services market in four key charts
Part I Cloud adoption in Africa: beyond basic awareness to hybrid multi-clouds
  • State of cloud adoption in Africa: summary highlights
  • Why African companies migrate to the cloud: operational imperatives
  • Why African companies migrate to the cloud: business imperatives
  • Africa has relatively high rates of adoption of cloud productivity applications
  • Enterprise management applications are moving off-prem, and into the public cloud
  • African enterprises are adopting more advanced applications - predominantly in the public cloud
  • Storage is the predominant path into IaaS
  • The adoption of advanced cloud infrastructure and platform solutions is still relatively low
  • How enterprises deploy: hybrid deployments are increasingly prevalent
  • How African enterprises deploy: the rise of silo-ed multi-cloud
  • Charting Africa’s multiple paths to the cloud
  • Industry focus: cloud in the African financial services sector
  • The African financial services sector: the motive, means and opportunity to go to the cloud
  • Financial services cloud adoption profile
  • The African financial services sector and the cloud - key charts
  • African bank IT budgets - a sample view
Part II Public clouds and private clouds
  • Public cloud infrastructure deployments have intensified
  • Public cloud infrastructure deployment gaps persist
  • Hyperscaler hybrid cloud infrastructure deployments have picked up
  • Will the hybrid cloud negate the need for full-stack regions?
  • A highly competitive public cloud OEM market
  • Africa public cloud provider presence
  • Key public cloud platforms in Africa - a comparative view
  • A survey of public cloud adoption - Azure and AWS lead the way, but many are not far behind
  • Who is using the public cloud? Key African corporate customers by platform
The rise of African sovereign clouds
  • A surge in African data center buildout
  • Who is building the African sovereign cloud? From hyperscalers to pan-African cloud champions
  • Of diversified cloud providers and cloud specialists
  • A strategic mapping of African private cloud providers
Part III How big is the African cloud?
  • The African cloud services market in numbers
  • The big picture: macro-economic headwinds and seismic shifts in the African B2B market
  • Market context: an enterprise market in transition
  • The African cloud market is hitting its stride
  • The African cloud migration potential - 10m+ servers in need of outsourcing
  • The African cloud services market has doubled in size since 2019
  • The African cloud services opportunity: infrastructure and platforms
  • Where is Africa’s cloud opportunity? The cloud big five - then everyone else
  • The outlook: Africa’s great cloud migration marches on
  • Looking ahead: a flight to the safety of the cloud, despite considerable operating headwinds
  • Our forecast: Africa’s great migration (to the cloud) marches on
  • The African cloud opportunity: summary table view
Part IV Africa’s Cloud Big Five Markets
Country analysis: South Africa
  • The state of cloud in South Africa: a summary view
  • South Africa cloud: excellent growth in otherwise flat B2B market
  • South Africa cloud readiness context
  • State of cloud adoption in South Africa: advanced and looking for mass market
  • The big picture on cloud adoption in South Africa: deep and hybrid
  • How SA corporates use the cloud: on prem still strong, and public cloud ahead of private cloud
  • South Africa cloud usage profile: an overview
  • South Africa cloud usage profile: hosting setups and cloud journeys
  • How South African companies migrate to the cloud: colo first, then hybrid setups
  • South Africa cloud: Strong financial sector adoption, public sector banks on hybrid
  • South Africa’s financial sector IT spend - a $3bn+ opportunity, more of which is going to the cloud
  • South African financial sector spending on IT services: rising 3x faster than other operating costs
  • The SA public sector: still mostly on-prem, but moving gradually towards the public cloud
  • Breaking down Africa’s most competitive cloud ecosystem
  • Africa’s most competitive cloud OEM market
  • Which platforms are customers using? Mostly Azure, but others are racing to catch up
  • A strategic mapping of the SA cloud ecosystem
  • South Africa cloud market outlook: more growth ahead, despite (or because of) a tough operating context
  • The South Africa cloud migration potential - upwards of 3.5m servers
  • South Africa cloud adoption outlook: a more mature market
  • Sizing South African cloud market: Africa’s largest cloud opportunity, and by far
  • The South African cloud opportunity: moderate growth in a tough operating context
  • South Africa cloud market forecast - table view
Country analysis: Egypt
  • The state of cloud in Egypt: a summary view
  • The Egyptian cloud market: significant growth over the past three years
  • Cloud adoption in Egypt: early stages, still insular, growing fast
  • Egypt cloud readiness context: a solid infrastructure and regulatory foundation
  • The big picture on cloud adoption in Egypt: still a heavily on-prem market
  • Egyptian enterprises have low levels of IT asset externalization
  • Egypt cloud usage profile: an overview
  • A constrained, insular, yet highly competitive cloud OEM market
  • An increasingly crowded managed services marketplace
  • Egypt managed cloud providers: a strategic mapping
  • Egypt cloud market outlook: a billion-dollar potential
  • The Egyptian cloud migration potential - upwards of 2m servers in need of outsourcing
  • Egypt cloud adoption outlook: early stages still, and looking at private cloud(s)
  • The Egyptian cloud opportunity: a billion-dollar potential
  • Egypt cloud market forecast - table view
Country analysis: Nigeria
  • The state of cloud in Nigeria: a summary view
  • The Nigerian cloud opportunity: nearly half a billion dollar already, growing at 25%+
  • Cloud services adoption in Nigeria: a work in progress
  • Nigeria cloud readiness context: work in progress
  • The big picture on cloud adoption in Nigeria: strong momentum with a private cloud slant
  • Storage, CRM/ERP are the most popular cloud applications among Nigerian corporate users
  • How Nigerian companies migrate to the cloud: colo and private cloud (usually) come first
  • Nigeria financial sector IT spend - a 200bn Naira opportunity, more of which is going to the cloud
  • Financial sector spending on IT services: rising 2x faster than bank OpEx
  • Nigerian Startups continue to lead the way - while the public sector is going private cloud
  • The Nigeria cloud ecosystem: resolutely competitive
  • A competitive cloud OEM market, with an emerging private cloud base
  • Nigeria is a quintessentially multi-cloud environment
  • A strategic mapping of the Nigerian managed cloud ecosystem
  • Nigeria cloud market outlook: waiting for a public cloud region
  • The Nigerian cloud migration potential - upwards of 1m servers in need of outsourcing
  • Nigeria cloud adoption outlook: a broader wave of migration on the way
  • Nigeria cloud market forecast: racing towards the billion-dollar mark
Country analysis: Kenya
  • The state of cloud in Kenya: a summary view
  • Kenya cloud: accelerated growth for East Africa’s digital beacon
  • Kenya cloud readiness context
  • Kenya cloud adoption and usage patterns: more advanced than most
  • Kenya cloud usage profile: an overview
  • How Kenyan companies migrate to the cloud: predominantly private and colo
  • Kenya cloud usage: banks and startups lead the way
  • Kenyan banks and the cloud
  • Kenyan banking sector IT budgets are on the upswing
  • Kenyan startups and the cloud
  • Kenya’s competitive cloud ecosystem
  • Kenya is a favorite destination for global cloud OEMs
  • A strategic mapping on the Kenyan managed cloud ecosystem
  • Kenya cloud market outlook: more growth ahead
  • Kenya cloud migration potential - upwards of 100k+ servers
  • The Kenyan cloud opportunity: racing past the half a billion-dollar mark
  • Kenya cloud market forecast: a table view
Country analysis: Morocco
  • The state of cloud in Morocco: a summary view
  • The Moroccan cloud market: strong growth amidst tighter IT budgets
  • Cloud adoption in Morocco: deep, yet relatively conservative still
  • Morocco cloud readiness context
  • The big picture on cloud adoption in Morocco: deep and (surprisingly) public
  • How Moroccan companies migrate to the cloud: colo first and strongly hybrid
  • Morocco cloud usage profile: an overview
  • The Moroccan cloud ecosystem: an increasingly competitive marketplace
  • A moderate cloud OEM presence in Morocco
  • An increasingly crowded managed cloud marketplace
  • A strategic mapping of the Moroccan private cloud ecosystem
  • Morocco cloud market outlook: faster than GDP and the broader IT market
  • The Moroccan cloud migration potential - upwards of 1m servers in need of outsourcing
  • Morocco cloud adoption outlook: a preference for colocation and private clouds
  • The Moroccan cloud opportunity: double-digit growth amidst tight IT budgets
Part VI Country analysis: Africa’s other top cloud markets
  • The state of cloud in Angola: a summary view
  • The Angola cloud opportunity: solid potential in the midst of a tough operating environment
  • The state of cloud in Cote-d’Ivoire: a summary view
  • The Cote-d’Ivoire cloud opportunity: still early stages, with moderate growth ahead
  • The state of cloud in Ghana: a summary view
  • The Ghana cloud opportunity: still early stages in a tough market environment
  • The state of cloud in Senegal: a summary view
  • The Senegal cloud opportunity: slowly expanding
  • The state of cloud in Tanzania: a summary view
  • Tanzania’s cloud opportunity: very early stages

Companies Mentioned

  • Alibaba Cloud
  • Altron Karabina
  • Atlas Cloud Services
  • AWS
  • BCX
  • Cellulant
  • Csquared
  • Dimension Data
  • Google
  • Huawei Cloud
  • IBM
  • Inwi
  • iOCO
  • iRoko
  • Kobo 360
  • Liquid C2
  • Main One
  • Maroc Telecom
  • Microsoft
  • N+One
  • Nedbank
  • Oracle
  • Senegal Numerique
  • SITA
  • ST Digital
  • Standard Bank
  • Synthesis Software
  • VMWare
  • Vodacom