Wednesday 17 April 2024

A view of Riyadh

AWS to launch an Infrastructure Region in Saudi Arabia

RIYADH, March 4, 2024

Amazon Web Services (AWS) has announced it will launch an AWS infrastructure Region in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in 2026 and also invest more than $5.3 billion (SR19.88 billion) in the kingdom as part of its long-term commitment. 
The new AWS Region will give developers, startups, entrepreneurs, and enterprises, as well as healthcare, education, gaming, and nonprofit organisations, greater choice for running their applications and serving end users from data centres located in Saudi Arabia, ensuring that customers who want to keep their content in-country can do so. 
“Today’s announcement supports Saudi Arabia’s digital transformation with the highest levels of security and resilience available on AWS cloud infrastructure, helping serve fast-growing demand for cloud services across the Middle East,” said Prasad Kalyanaraman, vice president of Infrastructure Services at AWS. “The new AWS Region will enable organisations to unlock the full potential of the cloud and build with AWS technologies like compute, storage, databases, analytics, and artificial intelligence, transforming the way businesses and institutions serve their customers. We look forward to helping Saudi Arabian institutions, startups, and enterprises deliver cloud-powered applications to accelerate growth, productivity, and innovation and spur job creation, skills training, and educational opportunities.”
New era of technological excellence
“The partnership with AWS and their announcement of an AWS Region, backed by a $5.3 billion investment, ignites a new era of technological excellence and innovation for the Kingdom,” said His Excellency Engineer Abdullah Alswaha, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Minister of Communications and Information Technology. “This cloud Region demonstrates a firm commitment to research, innovation, and empowering entrepreneurs to achieve prosperity for our region and the world.” 
The new AWS Region will consist of three Availability Zones at launch, adding to the existing 105 Availability Zones across 33 geographic regions globally. With today’s announcement, AWS has plans to launch 18 more Availability Zones and six more AWS Regions in Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, Thailand and the AWS European Sovereign Cloud. 
AWS Regions consist of Availability Zones that place infrastructure in separate and distinct geographic locations. Availability Zones are located far enough from each other to support customers’ business continuity, but near enough to provide low latency for high availability applications that use multiple Availability Zones. 
Availability Zones
Each Availability Zone has independent power, cooling, and physical security and is connected through redundant, ultra-low-latency networks. AWS customers focused on high availability can design their applications to run in multiple Availability Zones to achieve even greater fault tolerance.
AWS offers the broadest and deepest portfolio of services, including analytics, artificial intelligence (AI), compute, database, Internet of Things (IoT), machine learning (ML), mobile services, storage, and other cloud technologies. Customers from startups to enterprises to public sector organisations and nonprofits will be able to use advanced technologies from the world’s leading cloud to drive innovation, meet data residency preferences, achieve lower latency, and serve demand for cloud services in Saudi Arabia and across the Middle East. 
Amazon’s commitment to developing digital skills
To support the growth in cloud adoption across Saudi Arabia, AWS will continue to scale its training programmes and help accelerate Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 goal of empowering women to increase participation in the workforce. 
To help support this goal, AWS is launching a new upskilling programme, “AWS Saudi Arabia Women's Skills Initiative,” in partnership with Skillsoft Global Knowledge. AWS will train up to 4,000 women on AWS Cloud Practitioner Essentials, at no charge, through classroom trainings with AWS-certified professionals. This initiative is designed to help women jumpstart a career in cloud computing.
In addition, AWS will continue to invest in upskilling students, local developers and technical professionals, nontechnical professionals, and the next generation of IT leaders in Saudi Arabia through offerings such as AWS Academy, AWS Educate, AWS re/Start, and AWS Skill Builder. These offerings help learners of all backgrounds and experiences prepare for careers in the cloud. From higher education courses to full-time workforce development programs to interactive, game-based learning content, AWS Training and Certification provides individuals with training in the ways they like to learn. 
AWS will establish two new innovation centres and provide startups in the Middle East and North Africa with technical mentorship and trainings on AWS technologies such as AI and ML. AWS will also make grants available to fund graduate student research and provide free AWS Skill Builder subscriptions for up to 4,000 individuals working for small and medium enterprises established in Saudi Arabia. AWS Skill Builder is a digital learning centre with more than 600 free courses in up to 14 languages, and covering more than 30 AWS services from foundational to advanced levels. 
Talent pipeline
By expanding AWS’s commitment to free digital training, AWS will help accelerate the number of diverse candidates who enter the talent pipeline. Building on this commitment, AWS will also continue to scale its training programmes and accelerate Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 goal of empowering women to increase participation in the workforce. 
AWS Academy will provide higher education institutions with ready-to-teach cloud computing curriculum that prepares students to pursue industry-recognised certifications and in-demand cloud jobs. Eleven higher education institutions in Saudi Arabia have incorporated AWS Academy courses into their curricula, including the College of Telecom and Electronics, Communications and Information College in Riyadh, the Digital Technical College for Girls in Riyadh, King Khalid University, Majmaah University, Prince Mohammad Bin Fahd University, and more. AWS is committed to removing barriers to cloud skills education, investing hundreds of millions of dollars to provide free cloud computing skills training to 29 million people globally by 2025.
As part of a continued commitment to contribute to the development of digital skills, AWS and Amazon recently launched Amazon Academy to provide training and certifications in cloud technology, logistics, and retail, in Saudi Arabia. The initiative complements the Human Capability Development Programme of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030, and aims to train over 30,000 Saudi citizens, provide 35,000 certification vouchers, and will also offer 100 internship opportunities. 
Amazon Academy will provide transformative training and certifications, free of cost to the participants, to elevate in-demand competencies and equip Saudi talent for jobs of the future. The program will empower the next generation of Saudi youth, entrepreneurs, and professionals at any stage of their career to achieve success across various in-demand skills such as cloud computing, logistics, and leadership. Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) will collaborate with Amazon through MCIT’s Future Skills initiative to encourage Saudi talent to sign up for the skills development academy, which is operated by Saudi Digital Academy (SDA) and TUWAIQ Academy. Amazon Academy combines Amazon’s global technological and operational expertise with its understanding of the Saudi talent landscape to deploy cutting-edge skills training. Certifications under the cloud computing path will include basic and advanced to specialised levels across cloud architecting, AI, ML, data analytics, and other job-ready technology certifications to propel professionals and companies towards a digital future.
And, as part of Amazon’s continued commitment to contribute to upskilling women, Amazon launched a hiring programme for female delivery associates - creating opportunities for upskilling and enabling women in Saudi Arabia to build successful careers in e-commerce logistics.--TradeArabia News Service


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