Amazon to launch a new AWS Local Zone cloud infrastructure in Kenya

Amazon Web Services has announced plans to launch an AWS Local Zone in Kenya.  AWS, an Amazon.com, Inc. company made this announcement at the ongoing Connected Summit 2022 in Diani, Kwale County.

The new AWS Local Zone(s) in Kenya will join 16 existing AWS Local Zones across the United States and an additional 32 AWS Local Zones planned to launch in 26 countries around the world starting in 2022. AWS Local Zones deliver single-digit millisecond latency performance at the edge of the cloud to hundreds of millions of people worldwide.

“The new AWS Local Zone in Kenya is a continuation of our investment to support customers of all kinds and our commitment to accelerate innovation by bringing cloud infrastructure to more locations in the country. We know that delivering ultra-low latency applications for a seamless user experience matters in every business and industry, so we are excited to bring the edge of the cloud closer to more customers in Kenya to help meet their requirements. ” Robin Njiru, Regional Lead, East, West and Central Africa at AWS said.

Njiru says AWS Local Zones will empower more public and private organizations, innovative startups, and AWS partners to deliver a new generation of leading edge, low-latency applications to end users. 

Cabinet Secretary for the Ministry of ICT, Innovation and Youth Affairs, Mr Joseph Mucheru said the announcement reaffirms our Kenya’s position as an attractive place to invest, powered by a high volume of local talented developers. ”It will boost the adoption of advanced cloud-based technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Internet of Things while helping to ensure secure use across the Kenyan technology sector.” he said.

AWS manages and supports Local Zones, meaning customers in Kenya do not need to incur the expense and effort of procuring, operating, and maintaining infrastructure in Nairobi to support low-latency applications. AWS Local Zones also allow customers with local data residency requirements in Kenya to run parts of their applications in on-premises data centers and seamlessly connect to AWS while ensuring ultra-low latency for these types of hybrid deployments—all while using familiar AWS APIs and tools.

The new AWS Local Zones will give customers in Kenya the ability to offer end users single-digit millisecond performance designed to suit applications such as remote real-time gaming, media and entertainment content creation, live video streaming, engineering simulations, augmented and virtual reality, machine learning inference at the edge, and more.

Customers can connect to AWS Local Zones through an internet connection or use AWS Direct Connect—a cloud service that links an organization’s network directly to AWS to deliver consistent, secure, low-latency performance—to route traffic over a private AWS network connection.

AWS Local Zones are a type of infrastructure deployment that places AWS compute, storage, database, and other services at the edge of the cloud near large population, industry, and information technology (IT) centers—enabling customers to deploy applications that require single-digit millisecond latency closer to end users or on-premises data centers. AWS Local Zones allow customers to use core AWS services locally while seamlessly connecting to the rest of their workloads running in AWS Regions with the same elasticity, pay-as-you-go model, application programming interfaces (APIs), and toolsets.

The announcement comes more than two years after Kenya’s leading telco Safaricom announced a partnership with Amazon to resell AWS services in Kenya and throughout East Africa.

On top of reselling AWS services, the telco also was also included as an Advanced Consulting Partner in the AWS Partner Network (APN), a partner program for technology and consulting businesses that leverage AWS “to build solutions and services for customers.

Peter Ndegwa, CEO of Safaricom PLC said the new AWS Local Zone will enable Safaricom to further enhance its cloud offerings, especially to its Enterprise and SME customers, and migrate more of its own services to the Cloud.  ”Customer obsession remains a key focus for Safaricom and with this local presence driven by our partnership with Amazon, we will now achieve increased speed, stability, reliability, and storage to support innovation and development of future-fit solutions,” Peter added.

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[Kenya] Zalego Academy Joins the Amazon Web Services Training Partner Program

Zalego Academy, a subsidiary of StepWise Inc. that focuses on ICT training and enhancing the employability of youth and people from underserved communities has joined the Amazon Web Service Training partner program. 

Zalego Academy will now work with AWS to deliver training and certification for cloud skills to learners in Kenya and will concentrate on social impact initiatives. This training will not only enable cloud fluency for unemployed youth and graduates to leverage the power of cloud but will also create a new pathway of economic opportunity for young people to partake in cloud computing jobs. 

This Training Partner Program is designed for organizations like Zalego Academy, that meet or exceed rigorous criteria for delivering and or offering high-quality technical training.  

“Organizations need individuals with cloud skills to help transform their business, and there is a growing demand for IT professionals with cloud skills. AWS Training and Certification, along with our Training Partners like Zalego Academy, aims to equip the builders of today and tomorrow with the knowledge they need to leverage the power of cloud. AWS Training, designed by experts, teaches in-demand cloud skills and best practices, helping learners prepare for AWS Certification exams so they can advance their careers and transform their organizations,” said Maureen Lonergan Vice President, AWS Training and Certification.

“We strongly believe that with the support of AWS, Zalego Academy can build innovative programs that have a lasting impact, particularly to the underserved and underrepresented in Africa,” said Chris Harrison, CEO StepWise.  “Delivering AWS Training and Certification is perfectly aligned with StepWise’s purpose of preparing an inclusive talent pipeline and creating sustainable employment for a technology-driven world.”

As a Training Partner, Zalego Academy plans to deliver authorized AWS Training and work with partner organizations to develop future-focused strategies, to enhance the employability of youth and people from underserved communities. It will also deliver trainings intentionally built for non-traditional learners of all abilities to engage in, (i.e., in-person, sign language interpreters, video captioning and wheelchair accessible space).

The training is developed and maintained by cloud experts, ensuring the content reflects current best practices. AWS Classroom Training gives learners the opportunity to engage live and get questions answered by an expert instructor. Many courses also include hands-on labs, allowing learners to practice real-world scenarios in a sandbox environment. Training also helps prepare learners for the cloud service provider’s certification exams, which validate technical skills and expertise with an industry-recognized credential.

“AWS Courses will not only enable the underserved communities in tech to acquire the skills needed to earn a living-wage job upon graduation, but will also enable them to break the cycle of poverty for themselves and their families,” said Peres Were-Ogaga, Executive Director, StepWise Foundation.

StepWise is focused particularly on enhancing economic inclusion in Africa through the creation of digital jobs for people from disadvantaged communities, women, the chronically unemployed, and individuals with disabilities. Through the Foundation’s Scholarship Program, Zalego Academy provides individuals with disabilities and underserved youth in East Africa, with career-ready technology skills through programs that are aligned with the current and future job market. These demands are driven by advancements in technology.