President William Ruto has praised the recent opening of Amazon Web Services’ (AWS) development centre in Kenya, stating that it is a recognition of the country’s growth and potential as a global and regional technology leader. The centre, located in Nairobi, will offer computing, storage, database, and other services as AWS looks to tap into the growing data hosting market in Kenya.
During the event, President Ruto expressed gratitude to Amazon for selecting Kenya as a base for expanding its presence globally and in Africa. He stated that this demonstrates Kenya’s attractiveness as an investment destination and validates the country’s progress in the field of information and communication technology. Ruto also noted that the launch of the development centre aligns with Kenya’s national digital transformation agenda.
Furthermore, the president revealed that discussions between himself and AWS executives took place in New York last month, during his investment roadshow in the US. The talks focused on developing a favorable business environment for Amazon to expand its investments in Kenya.
Ruto highlighted the significance of Kenya’s strategic location as the gateway to East Africa, the Horn of Africa, the Great Lakes region, and Central Africa. He also mentioned the country’s role as a hub for global fiber-optic lines and its emergence as a major center for research, development, technology, and innovation, often referred to as the “Silicon Savannah.”
AWS aims to establish more partnerships with the Kenyan government, clients, start-ups, and other partners to expand its cloud computing services. Notably, the company previously developed and hosted the Centre for Epidemiological Modeling and Analysis (CEMA) application in Kenya, which played a crucial role in containing the spread of COVID-19.
According to a recent report commissioned by AWS, there is enormous potential for Kenya to unlock an additional Ksh.1.4 trillion ($13 billion) of economic value over the next decade by increasing the adoption of cloud computing. The report also reveals that cloud computing had a positive impact on Kenya’s economy in 2021, contributing 0.08% to the country’s GDP. The majority of this impact was attributed to national productivity gains, while the remaining 9% was driven by cloud spending from both public and private organizations in the Sub-Saharan Africa region.
Despite the progress, the report suggests that Kenya still has room to improve cloud adoption, with only 26% of organizations in the country utilizing cloud computing in 2021, compared to 49% in Western Europe and North America.
Kenya has become a favored destination for several global technology companies, with the likes of Google, Microsoft, and Visa also establishing regional hubs in the country. These investments further solidify Kenya’s position as a leading technology hub in Africa, attracting talent, creating job opportunities, and contributing to the growth of the digital economy.