Amazon Web Services and Ajira Digital Launch Youth Cloud Computing Programe

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Amazon Web Services (AWS), an Amazon.com company (NASDAQ: AMZN), together with the government’s Ajira Digital programme and getINNOtized announced the launch of AWS re/Start youth cloud skills training programme in Kenya. The first cohort of 50 learners is part of the AWS effort to provide 29 million people around the world with access to free cloud computing training by 2025 through various AWS-designed programs, including AWS re/Start. The AWS re/Start will help Kenyan youth build cloud computing skills and connect participants with employment opportunities at local employers.

The AWS re/Start program is a free, full-time 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 will provide 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, networkng, security, and relational databases through real-world-scenario-based learning, hands-on labs, and coursework.

The programme also prepares and covers the cost for participants to take the AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner exam, validating their cloud skills with an industry-recognised credential. On completion of the programme, individuals will be able to apply for entry-level cloud roles in cloud operations, site reliability, infrastructure support, and technical adjacent business support functions.

The programme is a joint effort between AWS; Ajira Digital, a Kenyan government initiative driven by the Ministry of ICT, Innovations and Youth Affairs; and getINNOtized, a tech company with roots in Germany that is driven by creating social impact in Africa. It is designed to provide support to learners building their career skills, especially in cloud computing. AWS re/Start will also assist learners through their interview processes, as they pursue entry-level roles that require AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner knowledge and skills

Speaking during the launch, MoICT’s Chief Administrative Secretary Maureen Mbaka said the government digitisation projects are already creating viable micro work that can be completed by digital workers. “We are excited to be part of AWS re/Start programme. Our main objectives are to raise the profile of digital work, promote a mentorship and collaborative learning approach to finding digital work, provide Kenyans with access to digital work, and finally promote Kenya as a destination for online workers.” She explained that access to digital work will build wealth and grow the middle class across the country resulting to more opportunities for businesses and direct growth of GDP.

The AWS re/Start programme aims train 100 learners by end of 2021, and 400 learners in 2022. Through Ajira Digital, the programme has a national reach and learners can access Ajira centres country wide.

“Our objective is to help individuals develop in-demand cloud skills and prepare them for jobs in and around their local communities, specifically due to the high demand for this talent in the market and hence a higher chance of getting employment. We want to bridge the cloud skills gap in the country by training entry-level cloud talent, and connecting them to employers with hiring needs.” said Robin Njiru, Business Lead-East Africa at AWS Kenya.

Learners will be connected with professional mentors and accredited instructors to impart them with a foundation of cloud computing knowledge that will propel them into entry-level cloud jobs.  The training includes developing skills to in programming, networking, security, and relational databases through scenario-based learning, hands-on labs, and coursework.

getINNOtized’s Chief Executive Officer Ulrich Busch said their mission is to create attractive work opportunities in Africa and provide a solution against the global shortage of skills. “Our aim is to solve social challenges as we help companies connect to untapped IT skilled talent in Africa,” he explained.

By the end of the course, graduates gain hard skills, soft skills, and earn their AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner Certification, an industry recognised credential validating cloud computing skills.

The Kenya programme launch is part of AWS re/Start’s new entry into Africa. The program launched its first Africa cohorts in October of last year in South Africa, and has since added additional cohorts in Ghana and Nigeria. The wider objective of the program is to enrol more than 1,000 learners in 2021 across 10 countries in Africa.