Amazon’s Drive Into Africa – OpEd

Since 2004, Amazon has been building a foothold on the African continent. In Cape Town, it already employs thousands in a global call centre and a range of data hubs. Its South African career portal is a busy place, with the vast majority of advertised jobs located in Cape Town. In April, as part of its aggrandising drive into the continent, the company announced that it would be opening its African headquarters as part of a new, multipurpose development.

The Cape Town development, worth R4 billion (US$284 million), is part of a broader enterprise spanning 15 hectares along a riverside area that promises a range of uses: a hotel, offices, shops, a gym, a number of restaurants, a conference space and affordable housing. Amazon is intended as the main tenant, with its headquarters covering 70,000 square metres (17.3 acres)…