Microsoft Corp. says it is set to spend $100 million to open its first development centres in Africa to work with local partners and governments, with initial sites in Lagos, Nigeria and Nairobi, Kenya.
In a statement on Tuesday, the software giant said it will spend the amount over five years and hire 100 full-time developers at the two sites by the end of 2019 and expand to 500 by the end of 2023.
Bloomberg reported that a Washington-based company, The Redmond, plans to use the sites to recruit African engineers to work in areas such as cloud services.
Cloud technology companies like Microsoft, Amazon.com Inc. and Huawei Technologies Co. are looking to expand in Africa to take advantage of growing telecommunications infrastructure and work in areas like e-commerce and mobile payments.
Microsoft has been partnering and looking for cloud customers in Africa where it has opened data centers in South Africa.
“Microsoft said it is working with Kenyan and Nigerian companies in areas like financial technology, energy, and agriculture. Cloud rival Amazon, whose Amazon Web Services is larger than Microsoft’s Azure, is also opening a data center in Africa next year,” the report said.