- Amazon became the second company in April to snub Nigeria for another country to set up their headquarters
- The tech giant chose South Africa, where it will create a project that includes affordable housing and commerce centres
- South African government hasn't given full approval to Amazon as the company still has to provide other details to build
Amazon has chosen South Africa as its headquarters base, as the e-commerce giant begin preparation to physically enter into the African market. It has, however, not received approval to establish its office.
Jeff Bezos' decision follows Twitter's announcement to set up its office in Ghana last week, citing democracy, freedom of speech and open internet as reasons it chose the Black Stars ahead of Nigeria which is its second user in Africa.
Both Amazon and Twitter have ignored Nigeria despite the country being the largest economy in Africa. The market size of the country wasn't enough to attract investment from these global tech firms.
Project will take five years to build
The office will be Amazon's first in Africa, and it will be situated in Cape Town. However, the building of the structure will be in phases, as it will take three to five years before completion.
Commenting on the decision of Amazon to invest in South Africa instead of other countries like Nigeria, the mayor of Cape Town, Dan Plato, said:
“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."
Full approval not given to Amazon yet
While the company has already made its interest known by submitting its plans for the office, it was gathered that the only approval given was to the development concept, not the construction of the project.
There are conditions that Amazon needs to meet before other approvals are given to establish. It was stated that the tech giant and developer still have to submit detailed plans on the range of development aspects.
Plato added that:
“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.
“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 structure plans
Amazon's investment is expected to create 5,239 jobs during the construction phase, and a total 19,000 indirect and induced jobs upon completion. The structure will consist of commercial and housing units.
According to Businesstech, the Amazon property will be in line with 59,600 sqm office space; 20,700 sqm retail space; 8,200 sqm hotel; 4,100 sqm gym and 31,900 square metres for residential uses.
Some of the structures expected to be built will include restaurants, conferencing, school and events space. The total land size for the Amazon project will be 150,000 square metres.
Meanwhile, Legit.ng had previously reported that Okra, a Nigerian startup involved in API, raised $3.5 million from more than five investors in a seed round. This increases the total fund raised between last year and 2021 to $4.5 million.
Okra raised the funds from Susa Ventures, TLcom Capital, Accenture Ventures, Rob Solomon, Arpan Shah and Hongxia Zhong. TLcom was the only investor from the pre-seed stage that financed the seed round.
The company was founded in 2019 by Fara Ashiru Jituboh and David Peterside and has fast-track over 20 million transactions.