Microsoft has had its eyes on Africa for quite some time now. The company launched its first offices in the continent more than 30 years ago, and now it is introducing two development centers in Kenya and Nigeria.
Microsoft’s $100 million Africa Development Centres (ADC) will be housed in Nairobi, Kenya and Lagos, Nigeria. The centers will focus on engineering local and global impact solutions through AI, machine learning, and mixed reality innovation.
The ADC comes a year after Microsoft opened data centers in South Africa, promoting business innovation in the cloud. Executive sponsor of the ADC and executive vice president at Microsoft, Phil Spencer, said that the center will be unlike any of Microsoft’s existing investments in Africa.
“It will help us better listen to our customers, develop locally and scale for global impact,” Spencer said in a statement. “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.”
Microsoft is planning to hire 100 engineers across Africa to staff the center by the end of this year and will have 500 workers at both locations by 2023.