Africa Business Communities
Microsoft and G42 announce $1 billion comprehensive digital ecosystem initiative for Kenya.

Microsoft and G42 announce $1 billion comprehensive digital ecosystem initiative for Kenya.

Tech giant Microsoft and G42 on Wednesday announced plans to invest an initial $1bn in Kenya’s digital ecosystem.

The deal has been described as the “largest single private-sector digital investment in Kenya’s history,” and was agreed with Kenya’s Ministry of Information, Communications and the Digital Economy,

In collaboration with Microsoft and other stakeholders, G42 will lead investment for the various components outlined in the comprehensive package. One of the Kenyan investment priorities is a state-of-the-art green data center that will be built by G42 and its partners to run Microsoft Azure in a new East Africa Cloud Region.

The initiative will include four additional pillars that will be pursued with local partners, local-language AI model development and research, an East Africa Innovation Lab coupled with broad AI digital skills training,  international and local connectivity investments and collaboration with the government of Kenya to support safe and secure cloud services across East Africa.

A letter of intent formalizing the relationship will be signed on Friday as part of Kenyan President William Ruto’s state visit to the United States of America, the first state visit to Washington, D.C., by a sitting African head of state in nearly two decades. The letter of intent will be signed between Microsoft, G42 and Kenya’s Ministry of Information, Communications and the Digital Economy, and was crafted with the assistance of the governments of the United States and the United Arab Emirates.

As part of the agreement, G42, in collaboration with local partners, will design and build a state-of-the-art data center campus in Olkaria, Kenya, run entirely on renewable geothermal energy and designed with state-of-the-art water conservation technology. The data center will run on and provide access to Microsoft Azure through a new East Africa Cloud Region, which will become operational within 24 months of the signing of the definitive agreements.

This cloud region will provide customers access to scalable, secure, high-speed cloud and AI services to accelerate cloud adoption and the digital transformation of businesses, customers and partners across Kenya and East Africa.

“This partnership between two companies and three countries highlights a real opportunity to bring digital technology to the Global South in a safe and secure manner,” said Brad Smith, vice chair and president of Microsoft. “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.”

 “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.” Peng Xiao, group chief executive officer of G42, said.

Microsoft and G42 will also launch and operate an East African Innovation Lab in Nairobi to help startups, entrepreneurs, companies and organisations develop and implement cloud and AI services. The East Africa Innovation Lab will offer design sessions and rapid prototyping.

The two companies will expand on ongoing relationships and work with the Kenya Private Sector Alliance, Stanbic Kenya Foundation, MPESA Foundation, UNDP Kenya, Young African Leaders Initiative, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, and the United States International University-Africa.





Share this article