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Amazon ignores Nigeria, plans African headquarters in South Africa


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THE United States online retail company Amazon has concluded plans to locate its African headquarters in South Africa, leaving out Africa’s most populous nation, Nigeria.

This was according to authorities in Cape Town, who confirmed this in a statement to newsmen on Tuesday.

The company will also serve as the anchor tenant for a new development in Cape Town, located at the site of the River Club.

The municipality has approved a 15-hectare parcel of land for development. According to the city, the development will cost R4 billion and include two precincts.

“US retail giant, Amazon, will be the anchor tenant, opening a base of operations on the African continent,” the city said in a statement.

“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.

“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.

“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,” it said.

Reacting, the Democratic Alliance has welcomed the announcement, saying that the Amazon South Africa HQ has the potential to create up to 19,000 jobs.

DA Shadow Minister for Trade Dean Macpherson said it would also inject around R4 billion into the local economy.

He lamented that the extended COVID-19 lockdown had caused devastation in the South African economy.

This is coming one week after Twitter picked Ghana for its first African office and headquarters.

Nigeria, being the continent’s most populous nation and biggest economy, is expected to attract deep-pocket investors, but high cost of doing business, multiple taxation, lack of clear-cut ease of doing business plan, poor management of foreign exchange market, land tenure system and poor electricity supply are scaring investors away, analysts say.

 

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