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Amazon Web Services Grows East African Influence with Nairobi Development Center

Nairobi, Kenya, October 4th, 2023 – Amazon Web Services (AWS), the global leader in cloud computing services, has marked a significant milestone by inaugurating its second Development Center in Nairobi, Kenya. Previously, AWS was solely based in Cape Town, South Africa, and this expansion signals their commitment to further establishing a presence in the East African region.

This strategic move by AWS aligns perfectly with the demographics of Kenya, where 60% of the population is under the age of 25. The establishment of the center in Nairobi has been widely welcomed, as AWS has been instrumental in supporting young individuals through initiatives like the AWS Academy, providing them with essential cloud computing skills and empowering them to kickstart their entrepreneurial ventures.

Kenyan President William Ruto, who graced the launch event, commended AWS for its significant contributions to the region. He emphasized, “Young Africans are poised to drive unprecedented global growth. With the right investments, such as Amazon’s, our continent’s natural resource wealth and green energy potential can lead the world in creating opportunities, growth, and prosperity, ensuring a sustainable future for both us and humanity.”

Uwem Ukpong, Vice President of Global Services at AWS, expressed excitement about the prospects of creating high-tech jobs in Nairobi, capitalizing on the immense technical talent pool in Kenya.

Amrote Abdella, General Manager of Sub-Saharan Africa at Amazon Web Services, emphasized the importance of AWS’s continued investment in the African continent. She highlighted, “This is the first step in ensuring that Africans have the opportunity to lead in the technology space across the continent. Amazon’s initial investment in Cape Town laid the foundation for our expansion across Africa. These development centers play a pivotal role in skills development and enable us to hire locally while providing global support to our customers.”

Nairobi Governor Johnston Sakaja encouraged young people to seize the opportunities brought by AWS’s expansion into East Africa. In May 2021 alone, over 700 Kenyan students received advanced training in programming, networking, security, and relational database skills, paving the way for a brighter future.

AWS, in collaboration with the Information Communication Technology (ICT) Authority, announced plans to upskill 10,000 students using AWS Academy in April 2023. This initiative aims to address underemployment in the country, as more than 50,000 Kenyan graduates enter the job market each year, with limited opportunities in their areas of expertise.

Robin Njiru, Public Sector Lead West, East & Central Africa at AWS, shared his enthusiasm, saying, “This investment provides local talent with the chance to influence global customer solutions and experiences. We are excited to expand our investment in Kenya, showcasing the region’s quality and depth of skills.”

Beyond Kenya, AWS has partnered with institutions in neighboring countries to provide cloud computing education. In Rwanda, AWS collaborates with the Rwanda Polytechnic to offer a cloud computing curriculum, while in Uganda, the Moringa School provides cloud computing training to students from disadvantaged backgrounds. These initiatives are making a tangible difference in the lives of young people in East Africa, equipping them with the skills and resources needed to build better futures for themselves and their communities.

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