Microsoft, UAE-based AI firm G42 to invest $1bn in Kenya data center

Wednesday May 22 2024

A view shows a Microsoft logo at Microsoft offices in Issy-les-Moulineaux near Paris, France on February 9, 2024. PHOTO | REUTERS


Microsoft is partnering with UAE-based AI firm G42 to invest $1 billion in a data center in Kenya as part of its efforts to expand cloud-computing services in East Africa, the companies said on Wednesday.

The data center, which will be built by G42 and its partners, will be powered by geothermal energy and provide access to Microsoft's Azure through a new cloud region for East Africa.

Why it's important

Abu Dhabi-based G42, in which Microsoft invested $1.5 billion last month, has begun training an open-source large-language AI model in Swahili and English.

Read: Google adds Swahili to AI chat service


Advertisement, Microsoft and Alphabet are investing billions in new data centers across regions to cater to a boom in demand for cloud and generative AI-related services.

What next

The letter of intent will be signed on Friday between Microsoft, G42 and Kenya's Ministry of Information, Communications and the Digital Economy as part of the country's President William Ruto's state visit to the United States, the Windows maker said.

Read: Ruto makes case for African states in US visit

Microsoft also said that the data center will become operational within two years of the parties signing definitive agreements.