Microsoft to spend $100 million on African development centre

Tue 14 May 2019 10:27:00 AM EEST

(Bloomberg) --Microsoft Corporation plans to spend more than $100 million over five years to open its first development centres in Africa to work with local partners and governments, as well as hire engineering talent.

The software giant stated that it plans to hire 100 full-time developers at the two sites by the end of this year and expand to 500 by the end of 2023. Initial sites will be in Nairobi, Kenya’s capital and Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial hub.

Microsoft plans to use the sites to recruit African engineers to work in areas such as cloud services, which use artificial intelligence (AI) and applications for mixed reality, where customers use goggles to project 3-D images onto the real world.

Cloud technology companies like Microsoft, Amazon.com and Huawei Technologies are looking to expand in Africa to take advantage of growing telecommunications infrastructure and work in areas like e-commerce and mobile payments. 

Additionally, Washington-based company has been partnering and looking for cloud customers in Africa where it has opened data centres in South Africa.

Similarly, cloud rival Amazon, whose Amazon Web Services is larger than Microsoft’s Azure, is also opening a data centre in Africa next year.