Digital skills are essential for the future of work and the development of the digital economy. According to the World Economic Forum, by 2025, 97 million new roles may emerge that are more adapted to the new division of labor between humans, machines, and algorithms. However, there is also a risk of a widening digital divide and skills gap, especially in developing countries. That is why Amazon Web Services (AWS) and the ICT Authority of Kenya have partnered to launch a program that will train 10,000 young Kenyans on cloud computing and other digital skills. The program, powered by AWS Academy, will be delivered across 10 universities in Kenya, which will be certified by AWS as authorized training providers. The universities will offer AWS Academy courses as part of their curriculum or as electives for students who are interested in pursuing careers in cloud computing.
The AWS Academy program will provide the selected higher education institutions with a ready-to-teach cloud computing curriculum that prepares students for industry-recognized AWS Certifications and in-demand cloud jobs. The curriculum is to be developed and maintained by AWS experts and covers topics such as cloud fundamentals, cloud architecture, cloud security, machine learning, and data analytics. The courses will also include hands-on labs and projects that enable students to apply their learning and gain practical experience with AWS services. Upon commencement of the program, AWS and ICT Authority will certify at least two trainers per university who will deliver the AWS Academy courses to the students. The trainers will receive free training and access to AWS content and resources to help them prepare for the courses.
The program will be an annual one where each year 10,000 students are enrolled across the 10 universities. The first cohort of students is expected to start the program immediately after the fundamentals are laid out and logistics sorted. The AWS Academy program is part of a broader initiative by the Kenya Government through the ICT Authority to roll out digital skills training aiming at ensuring that the Kenyan citizenry is empowered with the relevant digital skills to operate effectively in the digital economy.
The AWS Progam is to be launched at a time when the government is planning to connect every ward, every school, and every hospital to the Internet. Connecting every part of the country to the Internet is geared towards ensuring that the country becomes a paperless country where all transactions and services are done online. This will not only improve efficiency and transparency but also create new opportunities for innovation and entrepreneurship.
The data collected by the government through Internet connections will be handled by competent partners such as Amazon AWS, which offers secure, reliable, and scalable cloud services that can support various use cases such as e-government, e-learning, e-health, e-commerce, and e-agriculture.
By partnering with Amazon AWS Academy and ICT Authority, Kenya is taking a bold step towards becoming a leader in the digital economy and creating a skilled workforce that can compete globally. This program will also create a pipeline of talent that can support the local cloud ecosystem and foster collaboration among academia, industry, and government.
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