Kenya has begun helping its unemployed youth build their capacity in cloud computing to entrench its position as the preferred destination for online workers.
On Monday, the Ministry of ICT, Innovations and Youth Affairs through Ajira Digital in a collaboration with Amazon Web Services (AWS), an Amazon.com company (NASDAQ: AMZN), and getINNOtized launched AWS re/Start youth cloud skills training programme in Kenya.
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.
50 Kenyan youth have already been enrolled for the first Cohort following a rigorous exercise that attracted more than 2,500 applicants. 170 applicants made it to the interviewing stage.
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.
By end of the year, the program targets to train 100 young Kenyans, new cloud computing skills, career and resume coaching, and link them up to interview opportunities with local employers. Atleast 400 learners will benefit from the programme by 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 enroll more than 1,000 learners in 2021 across 10 countries in Africa.
AWS seeks 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.