Microsoft has revealed plans to build Africa development centres and hire 500 developers over the next 5 years. The first two sites for the $100 million project will be in Lagos and Nairobi.
These centers are being touted to become premier centers of engineering for Microsoft as the tech giant looks to leverage the talents of world-class local engineers to create innovative solutions for global impact.
As such Microsoft will be recruiting engineers to work on technologies such as AI, machine learning, and mixed reality to spurn cutting-edge African innovation in fields like fintech, agritech and offgrid energy – which it hopes to eventually tap into.
“The Africa Development Centres 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 further with African partners, academia, governments and developers – driving impact and innovation in sectors important to Africa.”Phis Spencer, Microsoft Executive Vice President.
The company will also be working with local partners and governments for the project. In addition, the company will partner with local universities to create a modern intelligent edge and cloud curriculum unique to Africa, as well as provide university graduates access to the Africa Development Centres (ADC).
The Development Centres will not be the first of their kind by Microsoft as the company had previously established several development centres globally including the Microsoft Development Center Norway. However, this new development further points to Africa’s growing importance as a global hub for talent.
And in addition to creating cutting edge solutions, these centers would also create jobs for developers and engineers in these locations. The company expects to hire 100 full-time developers by the end of the year and 500 over the next 5 years.
With Nigeria and the continent as a whole currently undergoing technological revolution, this center would go a long way to provide local engineers with the chance to work on the latest technologies. It will also establish a collaborative engineering springboard for new technology investments in Nigeria.
Microsoft opened its first office in Africa about 30 years ago and has since witnessed growth on the continent. It also runs a program called Microsoft 4Afrika, which was launched in 2013 and is “Microsoft’s business and market development engine on the continent.”
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