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Amazon To Open African Headquarters In South Africa

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Amazon, an American multinational technology which focuses on e-commerce, cloud computing, digital streaming and artificial intelligence, has announced that it will be opening its African headquarters in South Africa with a real estate investment of over $279 million (R4 billion).

The 15-hectare parcel of land is located at a new development in River Club, a prime section of Cape Town and it includes two precincts.

According to Business Tech, over 5,000 direct construction jobs and 19,000 indirect jobs are expected to be created due to the move.

Cape Town city officials in a statement said;

US retail giant, Amazon, will be the anchor tenant, opening a base of operations on the African continent. The development is envisaged to take place in phases, with construction set to take place over three to five years.

The development design intends to create a 150,000 square metre mixed-use space, divided into commercial and housing uses across two precincts. The developer intends 31,900 square metres to be used for residential purposes.

They added;

It is envisaged that 5,239 jobs will be created in the construction phase alone. The project will also create up to 19,000 indirect and induced jobs.

Other parts of the development include: 59,600 sqm office space;20,700 sqm retail space; 8,200 sqm hotel; 4,100 sqm gym; Restaurants, conferencing, school and events space, the developer stated that 20 per cent of the residential floor space will be allocated for affordable housing opportunities and US retail giant, Amazon, will be the anchor tenant, opening a base of operations on the African continent.

The city officials expressed that the development will include both market-driven and affordable housing opportunities – the latter of which will be physically integrated with the other residential units in the apartment complexes.

On his part, the City Mayor, Dan Plato stated;

The planned mixed-use development will be a significant boost to the economy and the people of Cape Town in the aftermath of the national Covid-19 lockdown.

The city has carefully and thoroughly considered all of the submissions and concerns during the appeal process. We are acutely aware of the need to balance investment and job creation, along with heritage and planning considerations.

He added;

It is clear that this development offers many economic, social and environmental benefits for the area. We are committed to driving investment to revitalise the economy, which is slowly recovering following the impact of COVID-19.

Amazon has had its web engineering giant, Amazon Web Services (AWS) in South Africa for years, but its main e-commerce services have not been available anywhere on the continent.

The new development comes a week after Twitter, US-based microblogging and social networking service announced the opening of its first-ever African office in Ghana.

The decision sparked heated reactions on Nigerian Twitter with commentators saying the social media giant’s ‘snub’ of Africa’s most populous nation is a testament of its perception as a difficult place to do business.

Similarly, the German government said a new German-West African Centre for Global Health and Pandemic Prevention will be located in Ghana.

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