Oracle plans to open two cloud regions in Morocco

The centres will be built in Casablanca and Settat and will bring tech company's Mena centres to eight

Oracle said the new cloud regions in Morocco will support digital transformation across North Africa, and would also extend to West Africa, the Maghreb and Europe. Getty Images
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Oracle is planning to open two new data centres in Morocco, which are expected to boost one of North Africa's fastest-growing IT ecosystems and add to the influx of investments into the Mena technology scene.

The projects are to be built in the capital Casablanca and the southern city of Settat, and would bring the number of Oracle's global cloud regions to 72, the Texas-based company said on Thursday.

They will offer dedicated, hybrid, public and multi-cloud services, targeting enterprises, start-ups, universities, investors and government services.

Oracle did not disclose the investment value or projected opening dates for the new centres.

The cloud regions will support digital transformation in Morocco and across North Africa, and would also extend to West Africa, the Maghreb and Europe through “strong business connections”, Richard Smith, executive vice president for technology in Europe, the Middle East and Africa at Oracle, said.

“As one of the largest economies in Africa … Morocco offers unique growth opportunities for businesses that are aiming to accelerate their expansion by deploying the latest digital technologies,” he said.

“The new regions will also serve as the foundation for the Moroccan government’s modernisation of its public services to better serve its people.”

The adoption of cloud services has continued to grow in the Middle East amid the rise of technology-savvy young consumers and an evolving digital landscape, underpinned by government efforts to develop the future economy.

This has given global cloud providers an incentive to tap into the potential being offered by the region.

Including the latest announcements in Morocco, Oracle's Middle East and North Africa cloud regions have increased to eight. it currently has four live cloud regions in Mena, one each in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Jeddah and Johannesburg, with two more planned in Riyadh and Saudi Arabia's coming high-tech city Neom. Another planned cloud region in Kenya was announced in January.

Global companies including Microsoft, Amazon, IBM and Alibaba Cloud have also all opened cloud and data centres in the region.

Worldwide revenue for the public cloud services market rose more than 19 per cent annually to about $315.5 billion in the first half of last year, the latest data from the International Data Corporation shows.

The technology sector in Morocco, meanwhile, is one of Africa's fastest-growing and is emerging as a vital component of its economy. Digital technologies offer new job opportunities for the more than 22 million Africans joining the workforce annually, according to the World Bank.

Morocco is also hosting Gitex Africa, one of the region's biggest technology conferences, this week, as it seeks to grow the growth of the industry across the continent.

Overall, Morocco’s economy strengthened last year on recovery in domestic demand and exports, with real gross domestic growth expected at 3.1 per cent this year, picking up to about 3.5 per cent over the medium term, boosted by stronger investment, according to the International Monetary Fund.

“Oracle's strategic investment marks a significant milestone in North Africa’s digital transformation journey,” Jyoti Lalchandani, regional managing director for the Middle East, Turkey, Africa and India at the IDC, told The National.

The move is “poised to empower businesses and governments with enhanced technological capabilities, fostering innovation, efficiency and economic growth”, he said.

Earlier this month, Oracle had also said that it was increasing its workforce in Morocco to 1,000, part of a co-operation agreement signed between Oracle chief executive Safra Catz and Ghita Mezzour, Morocco's minister in charge of digital transition and administration reform.

Oracle's new cloud regions would also help position Morocco to accelerate the development of skills and growth opportunities, Ms Mezzour said.

Updated: May 30, 2024, 6:15 AM