Amazon Inc has chosen South Africa as the destination for its headquarters in the continent and will invest $279m.
The announcement on Wednesday came a few weeks after Twitter also snubbed Nigeria to name Ghana as a suitable destination for its African headquarters.
Amazon revealed the plans hours after the Nigerian Economic Summit Group accused the Nigerian government of over regulating the country’s business environment and scaring investors.
The NESG Chairman, Asue Ighodalo, on Tuesday told the Minister of Finance Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed that the Federal Government needed to soften its regulations to accommodate private sector influx in the country’s business amidst the rising unemployment in the country.
“The economy of Nigeria is over regulated. The over regulation of the economy of Nigeria and private sector participation affects investments,” Ighodalo had said, adding “We have to go back to the base. We need to encourage and attract investment in the country.”
With the new development, South Africa hopes to get about 5,239 jobs created in the construction phase alone, while 19,000 indirect jobs would also be created.
Amazon would be occupying a new R4 billion development in River Club, a prime section of the city, according to reports.
The new headquarters would feature shops, a 200-room hotel, a gym, restaurants, and conference facilities.
“US retail giant, Amazon, will be the anchor tenant, opening a base of operations on the African continent,” Cape Town city officials, Alderman James Vos, said in a statement.
He added, “The development is envisaged to take place in phases, with construction set to take place over three to five years.
“It is clear that this development offers many economic, social, and environmental benefits for the area. We are committed to driving investment to revitalize the economy, which is slowly recovering following the impact of Covid-19.”
In April 2020, Amazon opened its first data centre in Africa, but has not fully unlocked its eCommerce operations.