Microsoft will invest $100 million to open an Africa technology development center with sites in Kenya and Nigeria over the next five years.
Global tech giants, including Alphabet and Facebook, have been increasing investment on the continent in recent years to take advantage of growing economies with rising access rates to the internet by a youthful population.
Microsoft will hire more than 100 local engineers to work in the new Africa facility in both countries to customize its applications for the African market and to develop new ones for the continent and beyond, it said in a statement.
“It is an opportunity to collaborate with partners, academia, governments and developers, driving impact and innovation in sectors important to the continent,” Microsoft said, citing financial technology, farming technology and off grid energy.
Microsoft said engineers at the new Africa development center will build applications using artificial intelligence, mixed reality and machine learning.
The company has six other development hubs located elsewhere in the world. The new Africa development hub will also support Microsoft’s established businesses such as Office, Azure and Windows.