Some of the guest speakers at the 11th edition of the Connected Summit 2022.

By TOM MBOYA in Nairobi

Kenya’s ICT sector got a shot in the arm after tech giant Amazon announced this week that it will be setting up an Aamzon Wire Services (AWS) Local Zone in the East African nation.

Robin Njiru, Regional Lead, East, West and Central Africa at Amazon Web Services (AWS) revealed that 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.

Njiru made the announcement during the 11th edition of the Connected Summit 2022 which ran this week in Mombasa, Kenya.

The meeting brought together top government officials and IT professionals to discuss the country’s ICT situation as well as its future prospects.

The AWS decision comes hot on the heels of the recent launch by President Uhuru Kenyatta of the Microsoft African Development Center that has employed over 431 Kenyan software engineers.

Brad Smith, the Microsoft President made an official visit to Kenya last week and said Kenya had a unique and robust ICT talent base that is unlike any other developing country across the globe.

“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.

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. Customers can take advantage of the cost savings, scalability, and high availability that AWS provides.” Said Njiru.

Cabinet Secretary for the Ministry of ICT, Innovation and Youth Affairs, Joseph Mucheru said: “We are pleased to launch AWS Local Zone in Kenya.

“This announcement reaffirms our country’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.”

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.

“We believe an AWS Local Zone will enable us to further enhance our cloud offerings, especially to our Enterprise and SME customers, and migrate more of our 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,” said Peter Ndegwa, CEO of Safaricom PLC, a local partner of Amazon Web Services.

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. – Zambezi News