AWS Pop-up Loft | Johannesburg 

It is only fair that Cape Town, the birthplace to Amazon EC2 service, gets to host the AWS Summit, but cloud enthusiasts in Johannesburg finally got to feel the love with an event of their own. Amazon Web Services are running various presentations, demos, and workshops at the AWS Pop-up Loft ( at Workshop17 West Street, Sandton from Tuesday 5 March until Friday 29 March 2019.  

I had reserved a spot in the overflow room for the opening keynote and upon arrival, was greeted by a multitude of blue and orange balloons which left no doubt that AWS was in town. Despite the room being packed with very eager attendees, the admin of registering was quickly completed and I was headed to acquire a much needed cup of coffee before I knew it. 

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The keynote was given by the CTO and Vice President of, Dr Werner Vogels. In the assigned hour, Dr Vogel discussed the story behind AWS and gave a brief overview of their current offering and customers. The commitment that Amazon and AWS have made to investing in both South African infrastructure and developing African talent and skills was reiterated. 

Next year we will see the opening of the first African AWS Region in Cape Town means South African organisations will be able to comply with data storage requirements of POPI while enjoying secure, scalable, low-cost infrastructure. End-users in Sub-Saharan Africa can expect lower-latency and African organisations will have better access to the advanced technologies of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. 

As the adoption of cloud technology in enterprise continues to increase, the shortage of cloud IT skills will become more and more of a problem. AWS has stepped up by developing global initiatives such as AWS Educate ( and AWS Academy ( They also are major supporters of local organisations like CODE 4 CT (, GirlCode (, and EXPLORE Data Science Academy ( 


The AWS Loft offers the opportunity to speak in person to an AWS expert as well as providing technical training that covers a wide range of topics. Everyone from beginner to expert can find a session that will teach them something new. 

Written By: Gemma Dawson