Amazon Web Services (AWS) has launched its first African Skills Center in Cape Town, South Africa, to remove barriers to cloud skill training.
This is the third AWS Skills Center the company has opened globally. Its other two centres are in Arlington, Virginia, and Seattle, Washington, both in the United States.
The new cloud computing training facility is part of Amazon's commitment to helping 29 million people worldwide improve their tech skills for free by 2025.
Vice President of AWS Training and Certification, Maureen Lonergan, said there is a wealth of talent in the Cape Town area and that upskilling the workforce can help foster innovation, ignite economic growth, and speed up digital transformation in South Africa.
The AWS Skills Centers are specialised, on-site cloud learning facilities designed by Amazon for anyone interested in cloud computing, potential career paths within the industry, and how to develop the skills required to advance their professional aspirations.
“Anyone in the local community — regardless of background, education, or social status — can explore how cloud computing technology is powering everything from weather predictions to smart homes,” the company said in a statement.
The company also mentioned that each centre provides several free public cloud training and career exploration activities.
According to the World Economic Forum's The Future of Jobs Report 2023, most organisations identify skills gaps and an inability to attract talent as the primary barriers to industry transformation. By 2027, 60% of workers will need training, but only half can currently access sufficient training opportunities.
Consequently, AWS said the new facility in Cape Town will increase community transformation efforts and workforce-development initiatives. One of the main goals is to level the playing field by offering free education programmes to nontechnical workers, which will assist in meeting the increasing demand for qualified cloud talent.
“Each space is designed to engage visitors by showcasing how cloud technology is powering everything from weather predictions to robotics. Visitors learn by participating in a variety of fun and interactive experiences.” the company adds.
For instance, the Cloud Discovery Space has eight interactive exhibits that show how the cloud helps with gaming, cybersecurity, machine learning, and other activities.
Moreso, learners can use training and resources to prepare for the AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner certification, which validates their skills and increases their employability.
In 2020, Amazon launched its first data centres in South Africa to provide lower latency rates and faster connectivity for developers, startups and enterprises, as well as government, education and non-profit organisations via AWS.