Global tech giant Microsoft has announced that it will be spending up to USD 100 Mn building a tech hub that will have sites in Nairobi, Kenya, and Lagos, Nigeria.
The technology development centers which will be built in the next five years is part of the titan’s mission to discover engineering talent in Africa to innovate ideas around Artificial Intelligence, machine learning, and mixed reality innovation. Microsoft will be recruiting up to 100 full-time engineers by the end of 2019 and will increase it to 500 across the two centers by 2023.
Facebook, Alphabet Inc and Google have been doubling down on their African investments in recent years, all in a bid to tap into the significantly growing economies on the continent and the rising rate to the internet brought up by a massive youth population. Facebook.
As part of Facebook’s USD 300 Mn commitment to combating the spread of fake news, it established a content moderation center in Kenya, employing no less than 100 people to help in the revival of journalism in Africa.
“The Africa Development Centre 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,” Phil Spencer, Executive Vice President at Microsoft said.
“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, Afritech, and Off-grid energy,” the firm added.
“In addition, it is an opportunity to collaborate with partners, academia, governments, and developers, driving impact and innovation in sectors important to the continent,” the company said, citing financial technology, farming technology, and off-grid energy.
Nairobi-based Techweez reported that Microsoft is as well collaborating with local universities to help graduates get access to the development centers in the institutions.
The tech firm aims to a genuinely African cloud curriculum for graduates on the continent to have better access to meaningful careers in data science, AI, app development, and more.