Amazon Web Services, Inc. (AWS), an Amazon.com, Inc. company, today announced the opening of a new development centre in Kenya, as part of a commitment to improve Kenya’s information and communications technology (ICT) sector.
The Development Centre will host AWS Research & Development teams, creating new, highly skilled jobs in software development, cloud support, and software engineering, and delivering solutions for customers and partners around the world.
“The Kenyan technology sector continues to be a source of growth and job creation at a time when there is so much uncertainty in the world,” said William Ruto, President of the Republic of Kenya and commander in chief of the Defense Forces. “The decision to open a new development center in Kenya is evidence of the trust that AWS has in our people and in our economy. I look forward to our continued collaboration with AWS as it deepens their commitment to our country.”
Uwem Ukpong, vice president of Global Services at AWS said, “Together with our AWS partners, we’re thrilled to be creating new high-tech jobs in one of Africa’s most prominent tech hubs. This centre will enable the local market to tap into an incredible pool of technical talent. With a steady injection of home-grown talent on Kenya’s side, we can continue to enhance our commitment to Kenya’s economic development. This is a win-win for all involved.”
Robin Njiru, Public Sector Lead West, East & Central Africa at AWS said, “There has never been a better time to up the ante in Kenya. Demand for skills is skyrocketing and this investment gives local talent the opportunity to impact global customer solutions and experiences. More talent can lead to more innovation, happier customers, and a growing economy. I’m proud to be at the centre of this shift with AWS.”
Kate Goodall, co-founder and CEO, Halcyon said, “Halcyon and AWS are dedicated collaborators in serving impact-driven ventures across the African continent to accelerate the future of business. Through skills development and AWS cloud-credits, these innovators are solving the most pressing challenges of our time. The launch of a new centre in Kenya will be an asset to the work between our two organizations in serving the next generation of social entrepreneurs.”
AWS’s investment in education includes providing AWS re/Start, a free, cohort-based workforce-development training program for adults. In May 2021, AWS and the Kenyan government’s Ajira Digital program and getINNOtized announced the launch of the AWS re/Start cloud skills training program in Kenya. The first cohort of 50 learners was part of AWS’s rapid expansion plan to hone cloud computing skills among Kenyan youth and connect them with employment opportunities.
The AWS re/Start program is a 12-week program designed to support people who are unemployed or underemployed, and who have little technology experience, for careers in cloud computing. The training provides participants with new cloud computing skills, career and resume coaching, and interview opportunities with local employers.
With the support of professional mentors and accredited instructors, learners build a variety of technology skills—such as programming, networking, security, and relational database skills—through real-world, scenario-based learning, hands-on labs, and coursework. Since May 2021, the program has enrolled more than 700 Kenyan youths across the country, in collaboration with Ajira, E-Mobilis and GetINNOtized.
The latest cohort launching in September will engage 200 learners. Furthermore, as the program seeks to be more inclusive, AWS and the Danish Refugee Council graduated its first cohort dedicated to refugees in the Kenyan Kakuma and Dadaab refugee camps in January. In April 2022, AWS announced AWS Local Zones cloud infrastructure in Nairobi.
AWS Local Zones are available in 33 metropolitan areas around the world, with plans to expand to 19 new locations in 16 countries. AWS Local Zones are a type of infrastructure deployment that places AWS compute, storage, database, and other services near large population, industry, and information technology (IT) centers — enabling customers to deploy applications that require single-digit millisecond latency to end users or on-premises data centers.
Having AWS Local Zones close to large population centers in metro areas enables customers to achieve the low latency required for use cases like online gaming, live streaming, and augmented and virtual reality. AWS Local Zones can help customers operating in regulated sectors like health care, financial services, and public sector that might have preferences or requirements to keep data within a geographic boundary.
In August 2022, AWS launched AWS Outposts in Kenya. Outposts is a family of fully managed solutions delivering AWS infrastructure and services to virtually any on- premises or edge location for a truly consistent hybrid experience. With Outposts, customers can run certain AWS capabilities locally and connect to a broad range of services available in the nearest AWS Region.
Outposts enables customers to run applications and workloads on- premises using familiar AWS services, tools, and APIs, while supporting workloads and devices that require low latency access to on -premises systems, local data processing, data residency, or application migration with local system interdependencies.
In April 2023, AWS and the Information Communication Technology (ICT) Authority, a state corporation under the Ministry of Information Communication and Technology, announced plans to upskill 10,000 students using AWS Academy. AWS Academy provides higher education institutions with free, ready-to-teach cloud computing curricula that prepare students to pursue industry-recognized AWS Certifications and in-demand jobs.
The curriculum also helps educators stay at the forefront of AWS Cloud innovation so that they can equip students with the skills they need to get hired in one of the fastest-growing industries. Upon completion of educational programs that incorporated AWS Academy content, students will be ready to put these practical cloud skills to work in entry-level tech roles.
In August 2023, AWS customer Hurone AI, announced its expansion in Kenya, supported by AWS cloud credits. Hurone AI piloted its Gukiza application for culturally sensitive follow-on care via text message interface in Rwanda, helping to facilitate easier communication for both oncologists and patients amid a severe oncologist shortage. This new, strategic partnership with the Government of Kisumu in Kenya enables Hurone AI to work with Jaramogi Teaching and Referral Hospital in Kisumu, the largest tertiary medical center in Kisumu that caters to over 5,000 cancer patients annually.
This partnership will help enhance operational efficiency and optimize patient data, improving the quality of cancer treatments, ensuring seamless remote monitoring, and access to timely care interventions when needed to improve patient outcomes. AWS is also helping Hurone AI accelerate its impact with support from the Health Equity Initiative, a $40 million global initiative supporting organizations that are developing solutions to advance health equity.