AWS Training and Certification Blog

AWS re/Start launches in Kenya as program expands across Africa

AWS re/Start program will launch a new cohort in Kenya and three in South Africa in May, totaling 12 cohorts launched across Africa since October 2020.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) re/Start cloud skills training program will be launching four cohorts in Africa this month—including launching for the first time in Kenya—as part of the program’s rapid expansion plans this year. AWS re/Start is collaborating with getINNOtized, a tech company with roots in Germany that’s driven by creating social impact in Africa, and with Ajira Digital, a Kenyan government initiative driven by the Ministry of ICT, Innovations, and Youth Affairs to empower over one million young people to access digital job opportunities in Kenya.

In addition to the inaugural Kenya cohort, AWS re/Start will be launching three additional cohorts in South Africa in Johannesburg, Pretoria, and Mahikeng. These new launches are part of AWS re/Start’s new entry into Africa. The program launched its first Africa cohort in October 2020 in Johannesburg, South Africa, and has since added additional cohorts in South Africa, and expanded the program to Ghana and Nigeria.

Building opportunities in the cloud for learners of all backgrounds

AWS re/Start is building a diverse pipeline of entry-level trained talent by collaborating with organizations including with business intelligence, analytics, and data management services company Praesignis in South Africa, getINNOtized in Ghana, and Edojobs in Nigeria.

AWS re/Start 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. The program provides participants with new cloud computing skills, career and resume coaching, and interviews with local employers. The program connects over 90% of graduates with job interview opportunities. At the end of 2020, AWS re/Start operated in 25 cities across 12 countries. This year, we expect to double the number of cities in which we operate. The AWS re/Start program is part of Amazon’s commitment to help 29 million people around the world grow their tech skills with free cloud computing skills training by 2025.

With the support of professional mentors and accredited instructors, participants get a foundation of cloud computing knowledge that will propel them into entry-level cloud jobs. The training includes developing skills in programming, networking, security, and relational databases through real-world-scenario-based learning, hands-on labs, and coursework. The comprehensive program also provides job interviewing and resume coaching to prepare individuals to take the next steps in their career. By the end of the course, graduates have hard skills, soft skills, and earn their AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner Certification, an industry-recognized credential validating cloud computing skills.

Here are the inspiring stories of two South Africa program graduates:

Meet Ayanda Dhlamini – Confirming a passion for IT

Dhlamini viewed her interest in IT as a hobby, never believing she could pursue it seriously. This all changed when she was chosen to participate in AWS re/Start.

“I discovered that I liked working in IT, especially in the cloud environment. By the end of the first week of the program, I knew this is the career path for me,” she said.

Her mentor from Praesignis saw her potential, and encouraged her every step of the way. “Without his belief in me, I probably would not have done as well as I did during the program,” she notes. “It was a difficult journey, and I felt on numerous occasions that my dream was perhaps too big and unachievable. But Praesignis believed in me, and I am now a Junior AWS Facilitator within the company.” Dhlamini has further developed her career and has now attained an AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate certification, a rigorous credential that demonstrates individuals’ hands-on experience designing available, cost-efficient, fault-tolerant, and scalable distributed systems on AWS.

Dhlamini believes her success will also go a long way to encouraging other young black women to follow a career in IT and cloud.

“My initial understanding around the fundamentals of IT has changed and, here I am teaching foundational cloud computing skills in a program that empowered me to believe in myself,” she says. “I want to encourage other women to embark on an IT career and empower themselves.”

Meet Grace Nkosi – A desire to transform the IT industry

Grace Nkosi has long had a passion for IT and decided to take her interest further by applying for the AWS re/Start program.

“I always saw myself as being part of an industry that is transforming the world,” she says. “I believe cloud is transforming not only the IT sector, but the day-to-day world we live in. This program enabled my vision to come true: to be part of an industry that can make a positive difference in the world. It was amazing being in this program,” she said. “While not always easy, through sheer persistence and hard work, I managed to achieve my ambition of working within the IT sector, more specifically the cloud.” Nkosi is now working full time at Praesignis as a Training Administrator for the IT Tech support class of the 2021 AWS re/Start program.


To learn more about AWS re/Start, visit our website.