American technology giant Microsoft Corporation has unveiled plans to set up an African technology development centre in Kenya, Gaming Vice President Phil Spencer said on Monday.
Spencer was speaking at a meeting hosted by Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta at State House, attended by top executives of Microsoft including Mike Fortin, the Corporate Vice President for Engineering and Sarah Bond, the Corporate Vice President for Xbox, Gaming Partnership and Business Development.
The technology centre will be Microsoft’s 7th globally and will not only be the corporation’s gateway to the region, but will carry huge potential for jobs and business opportunities for tech-savvy Kenyan youth in the various ICT specializations.
Spencer said the new development sites carry great potential for talent development and technology transfer among Africa’s youth especially in countries with good ICT literacy ratings such as Kenya, adding that the corporation would be hiring 100 local engineers as a start.
President Kenyatta welcomed the new initiative and assured Microsoft of his full support.
“You can count on my 100 percent support. I want this to be a transparent partnership that benefits Microsoft and Kenyans greatly. We want you to make Kenya your African home,” President Kenyatta said.
According to Microsoft, the Africa Development Centre will be a premier hub of engineering for the US technology company and its affiliates.
The centre will leverage the diversity of the regional landscape to build world-class talent capable of creating innovative solutions for global impact.
Further, the centre is expected to establish a collaborative engineering springboard for new technology investments in Kenya.
Spencer said that the African Development Centres will contribute to Microsoft’s interests across global businesses such as Office, Azure and Windows.
Besides Nairobi, Microsoft has earmarked Nigeria as the other beneficiary of a similar facility on the continent to serve West Africa.