Microsoft Unveils New $27m Tech Talent Institute in Nairobi after opening in Lagos

Microsoft Unveils New $27m Tech Talent Institute in Nairobi after opening in Lagos

Microsoft announced the opening of its African Development Offices in Nairobi. The $27 million tech talent hub launched just days after a comparable facility in Lagos, Nigeria (worth $100 million) was unveiled.

The Microsoft Garage, an incubation facility developed as part of ongoing efforts to spread tech innovation on the continent, will be housed at the centre, which will provide possibilities for technical talent. Self-heating windows, a mini solar plant to power the facility, and a water treatment facility to recycle and cleanse the water are among the features of the $27 million structure.

As part of Microsoft’s global objective to be net carbon negative by 2030, the facility was built similarly to Microsoft’s global offices to optimise space utilisation, air conditioning, and lighting modifications.

Microsoft has stated that the building, which is located at Dunhill Towers on Waiyaki Way, would also house the Microsoft Africa Research Institute (MARI), the company’s first on the continent.

The Research Institute, according to Microsoft, will be at the forefront of developing new technologies to expand scientific knowledge in computer science. It will pursue cutting-edge research in the domains of AI, Machine Learning (ML), Systems, and Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) (HCI). To propel globally relevant innovation, MARI will establish new synergies between research, engineering, and product development.

“Digital technology is transforming work, and deep scientific innovation is required to enable productive and sustainable futures for everyone,” said Jaime Teevan, Chief Scientist for Microsoft.

The Microsoft Garage, an incubation facility developed as part of ongoing efforts to spread tech innovation on the continent, will be housed at the centre, which will provide possibilities for technical talent. Self-heating windows, a mini solar plant to power the facility, and a water treatment facility to recycle and cleanse the water are among the features of the $27 million structure.

“As a premier centre of research and development for Microsoft, we all remain confident that you – together with our young men and women – will build a local world-class talent and create innovative technological solutions that will yield global positive impacts,” said President Kenyatta.

As part of the government’s mutually beneficial cooperation with Microsoft, he noted, the centre would produce full-time jobs for Kenyans in software development, programme management, technical design, content authoring, operations, research, and applied sciences.

Looking ahead, the institute is working on a number of projects, including Swahili (and Sheng) language technology, a study of how artificial intelligence may extend healthcare outside the clinic, and technology innovation to enable digital transformation in the Covid era.

Three PhD grants have also been awarded to African university students who will intern at MARI in 2022, according to the announcement. A visiting researcher programme, summer schools, and a space for student projects will all be available at the institute.

Conclusively, as part of Microsoft’s global objective to be net carbon negative by 2030, the facility was built similarly to Microsoft’s global offices to optimise space utilisation, air conditioning, and lighting modifications.