In a significant move aimed at fostering technological growth and empowering the youth in East Africa, Amazon Web Services (AWS) inaugurated its Second Development Centre in Nairobi, Kenya, on October 4th, 2023.
Amazon Web Services (AWS), a global leader in cloud computing services, has extended its reach in East Africa with the launch of its Second Development Centre in Nairobi, Kenya, on October 4th, 2023. Previously headquartered solely in Cape Town, South Africa, this expansion marks AWS’s commitment to strengthening its presence in the East African region.
This strategic move by AWS aligns with the demographic advantage of Kenya, where 60% of the population is under the age of 25. AWS has been instrumental in supporting young people in the region through initiatives like AWS Academy, offering cloud computing skills and empowering them to kickstart their own businesses.
During the inauguration ceremony, Kenyan President William Ruto commended AWS for its significant impact, stating, “Young Africans are prepared to power unprecedented global growth. With the right investment, like Amazon’s, we can harness our continent’s natural resource wealth and green energy potential to lead the world in creating opportunities, growth, and prosperity, ensuring a sustainable future for both us and humanity.”
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Uwem Ukpong, Vice President of Global Services at AWS, expressed enthusiasm for creating new high-tech jobs in Nairobi, enabling AWS, its customers, and partners to tap into Kenya’s abundant technical talent pool.
Amrote Abdella, General Manager of Sub-Saharan Africa at Amazon Web Services (AWS), emphasized the importance of AWS’s continued investment 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 initial investment in Cape Town laid the groundwork for our expansion across Africa. The development centers play a vital role in skills development and allow us to recruit locally while supporting customers globally,” she stated.
Nairobi Governor Johnston Sakaja encouraged young people to seize the opportunity created by AWS’s expansion to East Africa. In May 2021 alone, over 700 Kenyan students received advanced training in programming, networking, security, and relational database skills through real-world scenarios, hands-on labs, and coursework.
In April 2023, AWS and the Information Communication Technology (ICT) Authority announced plans to upskill 10,000 students using AWS Academy. This initiative aims to address underemployment in the country, with more than 50,000 Kenyan graduates annually struggling to find jobs in their fields of study.
Robin Njiru, Public Sector Lead for West, East, and Central Africa at AWS, remarked, “This investment provides local talent with the opportunity to contribute to global customer solutions and experiences. We are excited to expand our investment in Kenya, which reflects the region’s quality and depth of skills.”
In Rwanda, AWS collaborates with the Rwanda Polytechnic to offer a cloud computing curriculum, preparing 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. Since its launch in 2018, this program has trained over 1,000 students.
AWS’s commitment to supporting the youth in East Africa is making a tangible difference in their lives. By equipping them with the necessary skills and resources, AWS is empowering young people to build brighter futures for themselves and their communities.