People arrive for work at the Amazon distribution center in the Staten Island borough of New York, on October 25, 2021. [AP Photo/Craig Ruttle]

Amazon Web Services (AWS) has announced plans to set up a hub in Kenya to bolster the American technology giant's grip on the lucrative data hosting market.

The AWS Local Zone will join 16 other similar centres in the US and an additional 32 set to be launched in 26 countries around the world later this year.

"Local zones will empower more public and private organisations, innovative startups and AWS partners to deliver a new generation of leading edge, low-latency applications to end users," said AWS Regional Lead for East, West and Central Africa Robin Njiru.

"Customers can take advantage of the cost savings, scalability and high availability that AWS provides."

Mr Njiru made the announcement at the Connected Kenya Summit in Diani, Kwale that has brought together dozens of ICT industry leaders and stakeholders from the region.

“The new AWS Local Zone in Kenya is a continuation of our investment to support customers of all kinds and our commitment to accelerate innovation by bringing cloud infrastructure to more locations in the country," he said.

"We know that delivering ultra-low latency applications for a seamless user experience matters in every business and industry, so we are excited to bring the edge of the cloud closer to more customers in Kenya to help meet their requirements."

ICT Cabinet Secretary Joseph Mucheru said the investment by Amazon indicates that Kenya remains attractive to foreign direct investors seeking to spread their footprint in the region.    

“This reaffirms our country’s position as an attractive place to invest, powered by a high volume of local talented developers," he said.

Safaricom Chief Enterprise Business Officer Kris Senanu said the AWS Local Zone will enhance the firm's cloud offerings, especially to enterprise and SME customers. 

"With this local presence driven by our partnership with Amazon, we will achieve increased speed, stability, reliability and storage to support more businesses migrate to the cloud," he said.

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