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These centers which will be developed over a period of five years, is following in the footsteps of other tech giant like Facebook and Alphabet Inc who in recent years have steadily increased their investments in the continent.

Why these centers? And why now?

It is no hidden thing that Africa consists of many growing economies that have rising access rates to the internet, by a youthful population. These centers are created so that Microsoft will be able to customize its applications for the African market, and also develop new applications that will respond to the particular needs of the continent. The project comes to add to six other development hubs that Microsoft has already developed elsewhere in the world. This new Africa development hub will also have as objective to support some already established businesses of Microsoft like Office, Azure and windows, the company affirmed.

What this means in concrete terms for Africa

The initial sites will be in Nairobi and Lagos, and will both serve as centers of engineering for Microsoft.

There will be accessibility to state of the art infrastructures for Africans who are involved in the tech sector. They will be able to use technology such as artificial intelligence, mixed reality, and machine learning to develop these new applications. This also translates into increase in jobs as Microsoft plans to hire 100 local engineers to work in the facilities in both countries, and hope to expand the number to 500 by 2023. Vacancies were already announced in March. More Africans will have the opportunity to work in developing new software in areas such as cloud services, which suit the specific needs of the continent as well as develop existing software to a point that it responds more to what is required here.

Hopefully, this translates into a great opportunity for Africa wherein its own can grow in the tech sector that is still rather timid when one tries to make a comparison with what obtains elsewhere. When one sees the over a period of five years 40 million dollars initiative that Microsoft Corp in 2018 announced, aimed at harnessing the power of artificial intelligence to help children, protect refugees and displaced people, promote respect for human rights, and improve the effectiveness of disaster and recovery efforts, it is hoped, that this giant project for Africa will yield excellent fruits in the tech sector.

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