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Microsoft and G24 To Invest $1 billion in Kenyan Digital Ecosystem

Microsoft, in collaboration with Abu Dhabi-based G42, announced on Wednesday their plan to invest $1 billion to boost the digital ecosystem in Kenya, aiming to bring advanced cloud computing services to East Africa.

The initiative includes an eco-friendly data center, powered entirely by geothermal energy and incorporating water conservation technology, which will be constructed by G42 and its partners. This facility will provide access to Microsoft Azure in a new cloud region for East Africa.

Last month, Microsoft invested $1.5 billion in G42, which has since started training an open-source large-language AI model in Swahili and English. This initiative also includes the establishment of an East Africa innovation lab to train Kenyans in AI and digital skills, investments in international and local connectivity, and collaboration with the Kenyan government to ensure safe and secure cloud services in the region.

A letter of intent formalizing this relationship will be signed on Friday by Microsoft, G42, and Kenya’s Ministry of Information, Communications, and the Digital Economy, as part of President William Ruto’s state visit to the United States. The letter was crafted with the assistance of the United States and United Arab Emirates governments.

President William Samoei Ruto stated, “This partnership is bigger than technology itself. It is about the coming together of three countries with a common vision of a nation empowered by technology, where every citizen has the opportunity to thrive in the global digital landscape. It’s about building a future where Kenya flourishes as a digital leader.”

He emphasized, “In the spirit of mutual growth and shared prosperity, this LOI is a stepping stone toward a brighter, more connected, and digitally empowered future for the USA, Kenya, and the UAE. It embodies our collective aspiration to bridge the digital divide, accelerate technological innovation, and pave the way for a thriving digital economy that benefits the entire African continent and beyond.”

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Brad Smith, vice chair and president of Microsoft, said, “This partnership between two companies and three countries highlights a real opportunity to bring digital technology to the Global South safely and securely. This represents the single largest and broadest digital investment in Kenya’s history and reflects our confidence in the country, the government, its people, and the future of East Africa.”

Peng Xiao, group chief executive officer of G42, stated, “In partnership with Microsoft, we are excited to work with the Kenyan government to usher in a transformative era for the digital ecosystem in Kenya and the region. By establishing a green data center and developing AI tailored to the local culture, G42 is committed to fostering sustainable technological growth. This initiative will empower the Kenyan government and communities with robust, secure cloud services and AI capabilities, providing the foundation for a thriving digital economy across the region.”

Microsoft also announced that the data center will become operational within two years of the parties signing definitive agreements.

Techrectory with Agency Report.

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