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Kenya Welcomes AWS Development Centre, Boosting Local Job Market

Amazon Web Services (AWS) has unveiled a new development centre in Nairobi, Kenya, aiming to bolster the local tech industry and create numerous employment opportunities in various tech domains like software development, cloud support, and telecommunications.

The inauguration ceremony witnessed the presence of Kenya’s President, William Ruto, who highlighted the ongoing growth and job creation from the Kenyan technology sector amidst global uncertainties. “This decision to open a new development center in Kenya demonstrates the trust that AWS has in our people and in our economy,” President Ruto remarked, expressing enthusiasm for AWS’s continued cooperation and commitment to Kenya’s economic progress.

This Nairobi-based centre is AWS’s second in Africa, with the first one being situated in Cape Town, South Africa, and is purposed to cater to the tech needs of the East African region. The Centre is not only a hub for AWS Research & Development teams but is also a cornerstone for fostering skilled jobs in software and telecommunications within the locality.

Uwem Ukpong, vice president of Global Services at AWS, commented on the launch, saying, “Together with our AWS partners, we’re thrilled to be creating new high-tech jobs in one of Africa’s most prominent tech hubs.” He emphasized the win-win nature of this initiative, which allows the local market to harness the immense pool of technical talent in Kenya and concurrently amplifies AWS’s commitment to the nation’s economic development.

Background of AWS Projects in Kenya

Amazon has notably been active in Kenya through various educational and technological initiatives in the recent past:

  • re/Start Program: A 12-week free training program designed to pivot unemployed or underemployed individuals towards careers in cloud computing, which has enrolled more than 700 Kenyan youths since May 2021.
  • Local Zones: Announced in April 2022, these facilities place AWS services near large population and IT centres to enable low-latency applications, aiding sectors like healthcare, financial services, and public sector, which may have to keep data within geographic boundaries.
  • Outposts: Launched in August 2022, it delivers AWS infrastructure and services to almost any on-premises or edge location, providing a consistent hybrid experience.
  • Academy: As of April 2023, AWS and the ICT Authority unveiled plans to upskill 10,000 students using AWS Academy, intending to prepare them for industry-recognized AWS Certifications and entry-level tech roles.

Moreover, AWS has fostered partnerships to optimize health interventions, such as its collaboration with Hurone AI. The company, which uses an AWS-backed application for facilitating communication between oncologists and patients in Rwanda, recently extended its operations to Kenya, working with Jaramogi Teaching and Referral Hospital in Kisumu to improve the efficiency and patient data handling, thereby enhancing the quality of cancer treatments.

Investing in Future of Kenya

This new AWS African Development Centre, situated at Riverside Drive in Nairobi, is an embodiment of faith in Kenya’s economic and technological prospects. Robin Njiru, Public Sector Lead West, East & Central Africa at AWS, emphasized that the ongoing demand for skills in Kenya makes it an optimal time for such an investment, enabling local talent to influence global customer solutions and experiences.

This initiative underscores the strategic positioning of Kenya as a significant player in the tech industry within the continent, and it solidifies AWS’s investment in Africa. The comprehensive engagement between AWS and Kenyan entities not only seeks to enrich the local tech environment with enhanced skills and employment opportunities but also significantly propels the nation forward as a key business hub in the region, aligning with the government’s reforms and ambitions. This marriage of technology and local talent has lit a beacon for future investments and developments in the African tech industry.

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