Amazon and Huawei spend heavily to develop tech skills in South Africa

Multinational tech companies are fuelling local ICT growth.

Last month, HUAWEI Mobile Services (HMS) recently unveiled its Shining-Star Developer Programme in South Africa as part of its commitment to investment R146 billion to aid global developer innovation and support. This happened not long after Cloud computing giant Amazon Web Services announced plans to invest more than R365-million in developing 100 percent black-owned small ICT businesses in South Africa as part of an “equity equivalence” programme.

The AWS equity equivalent investment programme is a seven-year programme that will support the growth of new black-owned small businesses, helping them to develop their skills in advanced technologies such as cloud computing, Internet of things, machine learning, mobile technologies and more.

Meanwhile, the Shining-Star programme will concentrate on helping local app developers in talent development, Innovation support, Marketing support, developer community support.

The investments from Amazon and Huawei in developing South African tech skills point to a growing Information Communications Technology (ICT) sector as they will create numerous highly skilled jobs in the local economy. 

Over the last year, there have been a number of new data centre projects that have been launched in the country.  Microsoft opened data centres in Cape Town and Johannesburg, while AWS has also launched infrastructure points of presence in Cape Town and Johannesburg, bringing Amazon CloudFront, Amazon Route 53, AWS Shield, and AWS WAF services to the continent.

According to the Turner & Townsend  Data Centre Cost Index 2019 report, South Africa’s data centre industry is thriving, with Johannesburg being the largest data centre market in Africa.

“Johannesburg has up to 52 Internet users per 100 people, and the connectivity ecosystem is made up of 60 colocation data centres, 319 cloud service providers, and six network fabrics,” reads the report. 

“The data centre construction market in both Johannesburg and Cape Town are hot with key projects coming to fruition and hyperscale investments increasing,” the report said.