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$1billion Investment for Digital Infrastructure Investment

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  • Kenya lands $ 1 billion investments for digital Infrastructure investment from Microsoft and G42.
  • Among the top priorities is the construction of a green data center. This facility is to be built by G42 and its partners.
  • The initiative will enhance internet connectivity through investments in marine and terrestrial fiber cable infrastructure.

During Kenyan President William Ruto’s visit to the US, Tech giant Microsoft & G42, an Emirati AI company, announced a $1B investment in Kenya to support its digital transformation.

This initiative, undertaken in collaboration with the Republic of Kenya’s Ministry of Information, Communications, and the Digital Economy, is a milestone in the region’s technological advancement.

The collaboration will invest an initial $1 billion to support different components of the initiative.

Among the top priorities is the construction of a green data center. This facility, to be built by G42 and its partners, will host Microsoft Azure services in a new East Africa Cloud Region, driving the digital ecosystem forward.

The initiative encompasses five main pillars, each aimed at fostering local technological growth and innovation: developing local-language AI models, establishing an East Africa Innovation Lab with comprehensive AI skills training, enhancing international and local connectivity, collaborating with the Kenyan government for secure cloud services, and building a sustainable data center infrastructure.

Read Also: Kenya’s green energy drive gets EU backing as experts meet in Nairobi

The data center, powered by renewable geothermal energy, is set to become operational within 24 months.

A letter of intent formalising this partnership will be signed during Kenyan President William Ruto’s state visit to the United States.

Digital infrastructure investments
The president when he met Kenyans living in the United States of America at the Cobb Galleria Centre, Atlanta, Georgia.[Photo/Twitter]

This historic visit, the first by a sitting African head of state to Washington, D.C., in nearly two decades, underscores the significance of this collaboration.

Representatives from Microsoft, G42, and Kenya’s Ministry of Information, Communications, and the Digital Economy will sign the letter, with support from the governments of the United States and the United Arab Emirates.

Digital Infrastructure Investment in Kenya Lands $1billion Investment

President William Ruto expressed that this partnership transcends technology, embodying a vision for a digitally empowered Kenya where every citizen can thrive globally. Brad Smith, Vice Chair and President of Microsoft, highlighted the scale and confidence of this investment in Kenya’s future. Peng Xiao, CEO of G42, emphasized the transformative potential of sustainable technological growth through this initiative.

To cater to Kenya’s unique cultural and linguistic needs, G42 is working on an open-source large-language AI model in Swahili and English. This effort will be supported by increased collaboration with local universities and institutions, including the Microsoft Africa Research Institute and the Mohammed Bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence.

The East African Innovation Lab, to be established in Nairobi, will support startups and entrepreneurs in developing cloud and AI services. Microsoft and G42 will offer extensive digital and AI skills training, targeting various societal segments, including government employees and young entrepreneurs.

Digital infrastructure investments
President William Ruto when he arrived in The United States. [Photo/statehouse]

The initiative will enhance internet connectivity through investments in marine and terrestrial fibre cable infrastructure. Microsoft aims to bring wireless internet access to millions across Kenya and East Africa, building on existing partnerships with local providers.

Read Also: Blue Economy Investments to Earn Kenya $921m Annually In Revenue Boost

Microsoft and G42 will collaborate with the Kenyan government to ensure the new cloud region operates as a “trusted data zone,” adhering to global digital safety, privacy, and security standards. This will enable Kenya to adopt a “cloud-first” policy, accelerating digital transformation for governmental and citizen services.

This historic partnership between Microsoft, G42, and the Kenyan government represents a monumental step towards a digitally empowered future for Kenya and East Africa.

This initiative aims to gap the digital divide and catalyse technological growth across the region by fostering innovation, enhancing connectivity, and ensuring secure cloud services.

 

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