In August this 2018, I went back to visit my home country Somaliland. It was around the time that a global conference on dotnet was taking place. So, I thought, maybe IT experts can have done one in Somaliland.
And We did! It was a major success and we have many men and ladies of all ages interested in dotnet and especially in a cloud workshop. It was the first time they had cloud services hands on!
It was not easy to provide material to over 70+ persons at once, but thanks to Microsoft Learn platform, as a group was able to exercise few lessons about cloud computing — the basics such creating a virtual machine using CLI tools and creating an app from scratch.
If you have not checked it yet, you have to. Microsoft Learn basically lets you try out creating and managing cloud resources without paying or requiring a credit card. That is a big enabler in a session for over 70 people.
It has been months ever since and now I am back to Melbourne and a few days ago, a couple of developers contacted me saying they finished many parts of Microsoft Learn and when they tried to have an Azure account. To my Surprise, they did not see Somaliland or even Somalia as one of the countries. I have contacted Microsoft support and they confirmed that Azure cloud services are not available to Somalia. This is despite the fact AWS and google are both available. Somalia/ Somaliland does not have any US economical sections.
There are many dotnet programmers in the country and it is a shame that they faced with this much neglect. As you can see from the pictures above, these students, professionals, and graduates were very eager to learn and explore what the cloud is all about.
Luckily, our Ethiopian neighbors had access to Azure ten years ago which makes this behavior quite strange from Microsoft. I have created a user voice feedback but so far there is no reply from Azure billing team.
If you reading this please share this to whoever you think can help.
Microsoft has opened a data center in South Africa — however, still Somaliland/Somalia do not have access to Azure as normal users