Microsoft recently announced the launch of Africa Development Centre (ADC) in Lagos, Nigeria and Nairobi, Kenya. On Friday, 17th May 2019, the tech giants made this known at a global event in Lagos. They also announced that they will recruit world-class African engineers to develop innovative solutions.
These single ADC development centres will initially be located inside the Microsoft offices in the two megacities. However, plans are underway to expand them to new independent facilities soon. This is in line with Microsoft’s plans to have a presence in Africa to empower partners and customers. They also hope to proffer Microsoft solutions in AgriTech, OffGrid energy and FinTech fields across the continent.
The Executive Vice-President at Microsoft, Phil Spencer said,
“The ADC will be unlike any other existing investment on the continent. It will help us better listen to our customers, develop locally and scale for global impact. Beyond that, it’s an opportunity to engage more with local partners, academia, governments and developers – driving impact and innovation in sectors important to Africa.”
Microsoft is looking for engineering talents in mixed reality, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning out of Africa for the Africa Development Centre. Although the initial team of talents have already started work, the ADC intends to recruit a hundred more full-time engineers by December 2019. This number of job offers will now increase to 500 across Nairobi and Lagos by 2023.
Microsoft also says that it is partnering with local universities to create a modern edge and cloud intelligent curriculum unique to Africa. This is in order to support the development of the skills required for the roles. Top graduates from Nigerian engineering universities will also have access to the ADC. This will help to give them impactful careers in App Development, Mixed Reality, Data Science, Machine Learning, Augmented Reality and Artificial Intelligence.
The total cost of operation for this project will be a total of $100 million. It will involve a joint investment in ADC infrastructure and employment of qualified local engineers. The country manager for Microsoft Nigeria, Akin Banuso, said,
“Microsoft recently opened its first hyper-scale data centres in Africa. This next milestone is particularly significant for Nigeria. The reason we selected Nigeria as one of the first ADC sites is to better understand a continent that is rapidly adopting cloud technology and innovation at the intelligent edge. We view Nigeria as a leading regional digital innovation hub.”
Microsoft has been in operation in Africa for over 25 years. They have built partnerships to bridge the gap in connectivity, infrastructure and ability to increase innovation. The Microsoft Cognition and Microsoft Windows team will champion the smooth running of the ADC efforts.