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Microsoft and G42 Unveil Transformative Digital Investments in Kenya


Microsoft Corporation and G42 have embarked on a pioneering partnership with the Republic of Kenya’s Ministry of Information, Communications, and the Digital Economy, unveiling a sweeping package of digital investments poised to propel Kenya’s technological landscape forward. This landmark collaboration signals a major leap forward in the country’s digital transformation journey, harnessing the power of innovation to drive growth and progress.

Leading the charge, G42, in partnership with Microsoft and other stakeholders, will spearhead an initial investment of $1 billion to bring the various components of this comprehensive package to fruition. One of the key priorities is the establishment of a state-of-the-art green data center, which will be built by G42 and its partners to host Microsoft Azure in a new East Africa Cloud Region.

The initiative expands on its impact through several key collaborations with local partners. It will drive the development of local-language AI models and research, as well as launch an East Africa Innovation Lab, complemented by comprehensive AI digital skills training. Additionally, investments will be made in international and local connectivity, and the initiative will work closely with the Kenyan government to support the adoption of safe and secure cloud services across East Africa. By pursuing these areas of focus, the initiative aims to create a robust and inclusive digital ecosystem that benefits the region as a whole.

Formalizing this transformative partnership, a letter of intent will be signed on Friday during Kenyan President William Ruto’s state visit to the United States, marking the first such visit by an African head of state in nearly two decades. The letter will be signed between Microsoft, G42, and Kenya’s Ministry of Information, Communications, and the Digital Economy, with the assistance of the governments of the United States and the United Arab Emirates.

At the heart of this initiative lies the establishment of a state-of-the-art data center campus in Olkaria, Kenya, designed and built by G42 in collaboration with local partners. Powered entirely by renewable geothermal energy and equipped with state-of-the-art water conservation technology, this data center will run on and provide access to Microsoft Azure through the new East Africa Cloud Region, set to become operational within 24 months of the definitive agreements being signed.

President William Ruto emphasized the significance of this partnership, stating, “This is bigger than technology itself. It’s about building a future where Kenya flourishes as a digital leader, empowering every citizen with opportunities in the global digital landscape.” He further highlighted the 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.

Brad Smith, Microsoft’s vice chair and president, underscored the partnership’s potential, saying, “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, echoed similar sentiments, expressing excitement about working with the Kenyan government to usher in a transformative era for the region’s digital ecosystem. “By establishing a green data center and developing AI tailored to the local culture, G42 is committed to fostering sustainable technological growth,” he stated.

The initiative also encompasses the development of Swahili/English AI models, the launch of an East Africa Innovation Lab, skilling support programs, internet connectivity enhancements, and collaboration on digital safety, privacy, and security measures. With this comprehensive approach, Microsoft and G42 aim to empower Kenya’s digital transformation, positioning the country as a regional leader in technology and innovation.



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