In continuation of its effort to build formidable partnerships that will accelerate digital transformation and create sustained social impact acrossAfrica, Microsoft has l aunched the first set of its new Africa Development Centre (ADC) in Nairobi, Kenya and Lagos, Nigeria.
The ADC will serve as a premier centre of engineering for Microsoft, where world-class African talents can create solutions for local and global impact.
The centre will kickoff focusing on Artificial Intelligence (AI)-enabled cloud services, mixed reality experiences and rich applications that power the intelligent edge without disruption.
Both centres will be the first Global Development centres in Africa, with a combined expected investment of US $100 million over the first five years of operation.
"The ADC will be unique from other existing investments on the continent. It will help us better listen to our customers, develop locally and scale for global impact," Phil Spencer, executive sponsor of the ADC and executive vice president at Microsoft said in a statement released by the company on its website.
Spencer further noted that the centre will also offer the global tech brand an opportunity deepen engagement with its partners, the academia,governments and developers – driving impact in sectors important to the continent, such as; FinTech, AgriTech and OffGrid energy.
Microsoft has over the last three decades demonstrated commitment in empowering innovations across Africa. One of its milestones was the continent’s first hyper-scale datacenter which was recently unveiled in South
“This latest move by Microsoft clearly underscores the huge potential and relevance of Nigeria in the global tech setup”, Micheal Oluwagbemi,Executive Partner, LoftyInc Allied Partners said.
Oluwagbemi further affirms that both centres will equip Africa’s techies with the requisite knowledge, skill, experience and a global perspective to innovation. Microsoft further explained that as part of its long terms goals, the ADC will
play a major role in fulfilling its mission of empowering people and organizations to achieve more.
To staff the ADC, the firm says it will be seeking engineering talents across the continent to fuel AI, machine learning and mixed reality innovation.
According to the firm, engineers have already started working, as it intends to recruit 100 full-time engineers by year-end – with an expansion plan of 500 across the two sites by 2023.
To build its talent pipeline, the company further revealed that it will also partner with local universities to create a modern intelligent edge and cloud curriculum that is totally unique to Africa.
"Graduates will have access to the ADC to build a relevant and meaningful career in data science, AI, mixed reality, application development and many more," the firm further stated.