Microsoft Invests $100M In Engineers And Tech Hubs For Kenya And Nigeria

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Written by Peter Pedroncelli

U.S. software giant Microsoft recently opened Azure cloud data centers in South Africa and is now investing an additional $100 million in tech development hubs and job creation in two of the continent’s major cities.

The Azure data centers allow for the storing and accessing of data and software over the internet rather than a particular computer hard drive, with applications for Africans spanning across entrepreneurship, education, government and other fields.

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In March 2019, the company launched the first enterprise-grade data centers in Africa in Johannesburg and Cape Town, according to Businesstech.

Microsoft was previously against providing original source code for redistribution and modification. The company has now embraced open source, with Azure making it possible for developers to build, deploy and manage business applications using cloud technology.

Azure has 54 point of presence locations worldwide, also known as Edge locations, as of August 2018.

The company continues to invest in Africa, with more than 500 jobs expected to be created in new Kenyan and Nigerian tech hubs over the next five years, according to AfricaNews.

The first two tech development hubs will launch in Lagos, Nigeria and Nairobi, Kenya.

cloud services tech development hubs
Microsoft is one of the international tech companies bringing cloud services to Africa. Image – AP Photo – Elaine Thompson

More than 100 local engineers and developers will be hired to work in the new Microsoft facilities in both countries with a focus on artificial intelligence, machine learning and mixed reality innovation, according to Forbes.

The company plans to grow its pool of workers in those tech hubs to 500 by 2023, Quartz reports.

Through the tech hubs, Microsoft expects to collaborate with African partners, universities, governments and developers to drive impact and innovation in fintech, agritech and off-grid energy, according to CNBCAfrica.

The latest investment in infrastructure and local engineers is expected to be worth $100 million in the first five years.