Microsoft to set up tech hubs in Kenya, Nigeria

Monday May 13 2019

The French headquarters of US multinational technology company Microsoft in Issy-Les-Moulineaux, a Paris' suburb. Microsoft plans to open technology centers in Kenya and Nigeria to tap into Africa's ICT-savvy youth in developing engineering solutions for the company and its affiliates. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP.


Kenya is hoping for new jobs and business opportunities when a plan by Microsoft Corporation to set up a technology development centre in Kenya comes to fruition.

The US corporation's vice president for gaming Phil Spencer said during a meeting with President Uhuru Kenyatta at State House, Nairobi that the center would serve the eastern Africa region, the presidential media unit reported.

The technology center would be the seventh globally for Microsoft and would be the lead hub of engineering for the company and its affiliates.

“The African Development Centres will contribute to Microsoft's interests across global businesses such as Office, Azure and Windows among others,” said Mr Spencer. He did not give a date for the establishment of the center or the investment required.

The announcement comes as technology players across the world seek to leverage on tech-savvy Kenyan youth in various ICT disciplines.

Mr Spencer said the corporations would absorb 100 engineers in vacancies that were announced in March, describing as exciting the changes in the Africa technology landscape.


The centre will leverage on the diversity of the regional landscape to build world class talent capable of creating innovative solutions for global impact.

It would also act as an engineering springboard for new technology investments in Kenya.

Microsoft has earmarked Nigeria as the other beneficiary of a similar facility on the continent to serve West Africa

President Kenyatta said the technology development sites carried great potential for job creation, talent development and technology transfer among Africa's youth especially in countries with good ICT literacy ratings.

The president challenged Microsoft to ensure intellectual property rights of Kenyans involved in their projects are adequately protected.

"Ensure we do not lose the intellectual property rights that belong to our young people. We need an open and transparent partnership," President Kenyatta said.

He also asked the company to democratize innovation in the digital space by expanding the range of African languages available and usable on the internet.