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Tech News & Podcast | Africa

AWS Boosts South Africa’s Economic Potential with Cutting-Edge Cloud Services

Amazon Web Services (AWS), which believes that cloud computing is a crucial enabler for competitive advantage in the fourth industrial revolution, is growing its presence in South Africa as the country’s industries continue to ride the digital wave.

Speaking at the recent ITWeb Cloud and Data Centre Summit 2023, AWS Public Sector Country Leader Rashika Ramlal discussed the importance of cloud migration and digital transformation.

It goes without saying that enlisting support from others is crucial to your digital transformation plan. You have to always remember your folks. Therefore, it’s imperative that we make investments in skill development,” she said.

Ramlal claims that as new technologies proliferate, there is an increasing need for talent to acquire and hold onto skills that are relevant to the sector.

“Industries have to invest in upskilling their workforces in order to future-proof operations and remain competitively profitable in a digital era,” she stated.

She outlined how AWS is dedicated to advancing the objectives of digital literacy by means of creative development initiatives that support the National Digital and Future Skills Strategy of South Africa.

AWS Equity Equivalent Investment Programme was established in South Africa in 2019 as a result of this. To create 100% black-owned tech SMEs by December 2026, AWS will invest over $20 million (R365 million).

According to Ramlal, the tech industry is under pressure to help build up the nation’s skill set, and this is reflected in AWS’s desire for talent.
Digital skills are being pushed as a way to lower the high rate of unemployment, and the government wants to fight youth unemployment by looking to the digital sector.

In her speech, Ramlal underlined how cloud computing may enable businesses and individuals to innovate and reach a worldwide market.

She remarked, “We have already witnessed some of our customers lead ground-breaking inventions here in South Africa.” “In the end, these are solutions that help and enhance the standard of living for our residents and the local economy.”

Ramlal claims that the opening of the AWS Africa (Cape Town) Region demonstrates the company’s sustained commitment to South Africa. “We have always believed in the potential of cloud computing technologies and the opportunities it brings to stimulate the South African economy,” she added on the investment.

In light of this, Ramlal said that AWS’s investment in South Africa from 2018 to 2022 supported an estimated average of 5,700 full-time local employment opportunities annually and contributed R12 billion to the country’s GDP.

She also outlined other significant company achievements in South Africa, like the August 2023 launch of AWS Skills Centres, which are extensive and easily accessible in-person cloud learning centres.

These centres are designed for anyone who is curious about cloud computing, career opportunities in the industry, and how to gain the skills to achieve their career goals, she said. The spaces demonstrate how cloud computing powers everything from weather forecasting to smart homes, bringing it to life for the local community.

According to her, this is just an additional method by which AWS provides training to individuals who benefit from in-person instruction or who might not have access to a computer at home. “Walk-ins are welcome to start receiving free in-person instruction. People with little to no prior knowledge with technology are the target audience for the workshops.

She clarified that regardless of a person’s background, level of education, or social standing, the AWS Skills Centre Cape Town enables learners to acquire training in cloud computing skills, opening up new employment options in in-demand cloud tech.

The new 10,000-square-foot space demonstrates real-world applications of cloud computing and related career prospects through interactive exhibitions on robots, space, games and machine learning.

Ramlal was happy to report that by 2029, AWS operations are expected to boost South Africa’s GDP by an additional R68 billion, based on an independent Economic Impact Study. She added that by 2029, AWS plans to invest an additional R30.4 billion in its cloud infrastructure in South Africa, which will further compound the impact.

“Our goal goes beyond merely offering another technological fix. That isn’t our purpose. Our consumers are the focal point of all we do. She said, “At AWS, we have a special place in our hearts for South Africa.

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