Amazon’s big plan for South Africa

 ·18 Aug 2023

The Western Cape Government (WCG) has welcomed the official opening of Amazon Web Services (AWS) first international AWS Skills Centre in Cape Town, as well as the planned investment of R46 billion by AWS Africa (Cape Town) Region between 2018 and 2029.

Of the total planned investment, AWS has already invested R15.6 billion between 2018 and 2022.

According to a recently released Economic Impact Study commissioned by AWS, the investment associated with the AWS Africa (Cape Town) Region will contribute an estimated R80 billion to the gross domestic product of South Africa between 2018 and 2029.

Premier Alan Winde and Provincial Minister of Finance and Economic Opportunities Mireille Wenger, along with national government officials, attended the official launch of the AWS Skills Centre in Cape Town, the first such centre outside of the United States.

The centre aims to provide accessible cloud skills training, including free foundational cloud training, for individuals interested in cloud computing and its potential career opportunities.

“We look forward to working with AWS to bring powerful training resources to the residents of South Africa. By investing in our people and their future, we are also investing in South Africa’s future and advancing our stature in the global economy,” said Alan Winde, Premier of the Western Cape.

Minister Wenger added: “Guided by our recently adopted economic action plan, ‘Growth For Jobs,’ the WCG is on a drive to drastically boost economic growth that will create jobs by enabling the private sector.”

“Two of the seven priority focus areas of Growth For Jobs speak directly to attracting investment and to ensuring that our residents are equipped with the skills they need to take advantage of job opportunities, both now and in the future.

“The opening of this impressive skills centre by AWS is exactly the kind of investment and skills development programmes we are looking to attract to the province because investment generates economic growth, which then leads to job creation,” said Wenger.

The facility, which is open to all, allows people to explore how cloud computing technology is powering everything from weather predictions to smart homes and features immersive exhibits demonstrating real-world cloud applications, live instructor-led training, and resources for earning an AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner certification.

Speaking at the event, Premier Winde said: “The launch of this world-class skills centre comes at an opportune and crucial time, especially as we move forward to implement our recently launched Growth For Jobs Strategy – our ambitious plan to dramatically scale up and boost economic growth and job creation in the province, which fully embraces and incorporates skills development.”

“The opening of this facility also comes on the back of the release of the latest jobs statistics, which show that 368,000 jobs were created in our province between the second quarter of last year and the second quarter of 2023.

“If we are to maintain this momentum, we must continuously facilitate skills development and further investment from private sector partners like AWS.”

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