Microsoft makes USD 100 million investment in Kenya and Nigeria
A development centre with sites in Nairobi and Lagos will be up and running by the end of the year, according to the software giant.
Microsoft has committed USD 100 million over five years to establish development sites in Kenya and Nigeria. The Africa Development Centre (ADC) has offices in Nairobi and Lagos which will serve as locations for the development of engineering solutions.
The two venues are already up and running and have been established nearly 30 years after the software giant opened its first African offices.
The company said it would be hiring 100 permanent engineers by the end of the year and 500 by 2023 to work on artificial intelligence, cloud services, machine learning and mixed reality technologies.
Microsoft said the centre’s sites would enable it to develop “more cutting-edge solutions suitable for Kenya, Nigeria and the rest of the world”.
In addition, it said it would contribute to the career development of local students by offering education in areas including cloud technology.
Microsoft executive vice-president Phil Spencer said in a statement: “The ADC will be unlike any other existing investment on the continent. It will help us better listen to our customers, develop locally and scale for global impact. Beyond that, it’s an opportunity to engage further with partners, academia, governments and developers – driving impact in sectors important to the continent, such as fintech, agritech and offgrid energy.”
Michael Fortin, corporate vice-president and the Microsoft executive in charge of establishing the Nairobi engineering team said: “Our desire is to recruit exceptional engineering talent across the continent that will build innovative solutions for global impact. This also creates opportunities for engineers to do meaningful work from their home countries and be plugged into a global engineering and development organisation.”
The tech giant’s existing partnerships on the continent include with Kenyan electricity provider M-KOPA, Kenyan solar irrigation company SunCulture and Nigerian finance company Interswitch.
A former legal director for Microsoft in Johannesburg last year joined international law firm Covington & Burling as a senior adviser on regulatory and policy issues.