- Microsoft to Build US$100m Centres in Nigeria, Kenya
In another validation of Africa’s growing talent and technological adoption, Microsoft has announced a plan to invest US$100 million in software development centres in Lagos, Nigeria and Nairobi, Kenya.
The company aim to recruit at least 100 full-time engineers by the end of the year and another 500 by the end of 2023.
The Africa Development centre (ADC), according to the company, will help Microsoft deepen its presence in Africa, develop locally and scale for global impact.
“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,” Microsoft executive vice president Phil Spencer said in Nairobi. “Beyond that, it’s an opportunity to engage further with African partners, academia, governments and developers – driving impact and innovation in sectors important to Africa.”
Welcoming the initiative Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta told Spencer and other Microsoft executives at State House in Nairobi: “We want you to make Kenya your African home”.
Last year, the software company acquired GitHub for $7.5 billion, a software engineer market place. Only to find out that Nigeria had the fourth-fastest growing developer community on the platform in 2017.
This forced the company to look deeper into Nigeria and the rest of the African continent for raw talents, especially after Andela recent successes and global interests.
Global tech giants are now planning to leverage Africa’s raw talent for new markets, reach and growth.
While Microsoft had opened two ADCs in South Africa early this year, Huawei, Chinese telecoms, already announced plans to build two data centres on the continent. Amazon Web Services, a global leader in cloud computing, will open its first data centre in Africa in 2020.
Microsoft will be partnering local universities to create a curriculum to nurse future tech talents in data science, AI, mixed reality, and application development.
“Our desire is to recruit exceptional engineering talent and provide the opportunity to work on the latest technologies suitable for Kenya, Nigeria and the rest of the world. In doing so, engineers are able to enjoy meaningful work from their home countries, while plugged into a global engineering and development organisation,” said Microsoft corporate vice president Michael Fortin.