Amazon Web Services (AWS), the global e-commerce behemoth’s technological arm, is embarking on an ambitious initiative to train 100,000 young South Africans as certified cloud computing professionals for free.
At the heart of this initiative is AWS’s groundbreaking Skills Centre in Cape Town, which is a pioneering venture outside of the United States. Tanuja Randery, AWS’s Managing Director for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, stated at the center’s opening that the primary goal is to stimulate economic growth and create job opportunities. This is especially important given that virtual cloud expenditures in South Africa have increased by more than 13%.
The dedication displayed by AWS in South Africa is undeniable. To date, the company has invested over R15 billion in the country, supporting the livelihood of 5,700 people. Randery also emphasised their long-term commitment, projecting an additional R30 billion in investment in the pipeline.
A timely observation from the World Economic Forum highlights the growing global demand for cloud computing expertise. Cloud computing skills are expected to be required for over 2.6 million job roles by 2027.
The centre, which is open to people between the ages of 18 and 36, provides a comprehensive curriculum that includes both in-person and virtual instruction. Aspiring participants will have the opportunity to earn certification as an AWC Certified Cloud Practitioner while also networking with seasoned industry professionals. The course duration ranges from six weeks to a more comprehensive 14-week programme, allowing for flexibility to accommodate a variety of schedules.
Aside from the educational aspect, the centre provides a visually stimulating experience with eight exhibits that vividly illustrate the various applications of cloud computing. Live translation services, sports analytics, sustainability initiatives, space exploration, and cutting-edge gaming technology are just a few examples.
Western Cape Premier Alan Winde emphasised the center’s critical role in addressing the country’s persistent unemployment crisis. He expressed hope that by providing valuable skills to the younger generation, the centre would improve their employability
prospects, thereby mitigating the unemployment problem. Winde also stated that collaborative discussions with Amazon went beyond training initiatives and included the possibility of Amazon retail warehouses being established in the province.
In sum, Amazon’s AWS is orchestrating a monumental transformation in South Africa’s technology landscape. Through the innovative Skills Center, the company is effectively addressing the burgeoning demand for cloud computing expertise while investing in the country’s socio-economic growth. This remarkable endeavor not only empowers the youth with sought-after skills but also solidifies South Africa’s foothold in the global economy.