Amazon Web services, the global cloud computing services launched its Second Development Centre in Nairobi, Kenya on October 4th 2023.
The Cloud computing giant was initially based only in Cape Town, South Africa and is now looking to expand its footprint in the East African region.
With a population of 60% under the age of 25, the move by AWS to have a centre in Nairobi is highly welcomed in the region. AWS has been transformative in it’s support for the young people since through it’s initiatives such as AWS academy it has been offering cloud computing skills and empowering them to start their own business
Kenyan President William Ruto who was present to Launch the Development centre hailed AWS for it’s set significant impact.
“Young Africans are prepared to power unprecedented global growth, which with the right investment like Amazon’s will take advantage of our continent’s natural resource wealth and green energy potential to lead the world in bringing opportunities, growth and prosperity, and thus guarantee, a sustainable future for both us and humanity.” He said.
Uwem Ukpong, The Vice President of Global Services at AWS, Uwem Ukpong who was also present said; “We are thrilled to be creating new high-tech jobs in Nairobi, which will enable us, our customers, and our partners to tap into the incredible pool of technical talent here in Kenya.
The General Manager, Sub-Saharan Africa Amazon Web Services (AWS) Amrote Abdella noted how critically it was for AWS to continue investing in the African continent.
“ It’s the first step in ensuring we give Africans the opportunity to continue to emerge and lead in the technology space across the continent. Amazon’s first’s investment in cape town lay the groundwork for what is now our source of expansion across Africa. The development centers aid greatly in skills building and enable us to recruit locally, and continue to ensure we support customers globally as well.” She said.
The Nairobi Governor Johnston Sakaja encouraged young people to take advantage of AWS extension to East Africa opportunity. In May 2021 alone, over 700 Kenyan students received advanced training in programming, networking, security, and relational database skills, through real-world, scenario-based learning, hands-on labs, and coursework.
AWS and the Information Communication Technology (ICT) Authority announced plans to upskill 10,000 students using AWS Academy in April 2023. This acquisition of advanced, market-relevant skills is expected to tackle underemployment in the country, as more than 50,000 Kenyans graduate from institutions of higher learning every year with very few being gainfully employed in their area of training.
“This investment gives local talent the opportunity to impact global customer solutions and experiences. We are thrilled to be expanding our investment in Kenya, which is a testament to the quality and depth of skills in the region,” said Robin Njiru, Public Sector Lead West, East & Central Africa at AWS.
In Rwanda, AWS partners with the Rwanda Polytechnic to offer a cloud computing curriculum to students. The curriculum is designed to prepare students for careers in cloud computing and related fields. In Uganda, AWS partners with the Moringa School to provide cloud computing training to students from disadvantaged backgrounds. The program has trained over 1,000 students since its launch in 2018. AWS’s commitment to helping youth in East Africa is making a real difference in the lives of young people. By providing them with the skills and resources they need to succeed, AWS is helping them to build better futures for themselves and their communities.