Microsoft’s premier engineering hub, the African Development Centre (ADC), is relocating to its own offices in Nairobi, Kenya. This comes a few days after Microsoft launched a center in Lagos.
The facility will now be based at Dunhill Towers in its new ultra-modern state-of-the-art facility, the first of its kind serving the East African region.
The ADC will house the engineering, design, research, and innovation teams, as well as the Microsoft Garage, an incubation hub launched as part of the ongoing efforts to scale tech innovation in the continent. The facility was officially launched by the president Uhuru Kenyatta, who was accompanied by Joe Mucheru, the Cabinet Secretary for ICT, Innovation and Youth Affair among other key guests.
Speaking at the offices’ opening, the ICT Cabinet Secretary noted that the development strengthens the country’s position as a leading regional digital innovation hub, putting Kenya on the path to achieving large-scale industrial technology status, as other countries such as China, India, and Israe
“Our Vision 2030 recognizes the role of science, technology, and innovation in a modern economy, in which new knowledge plays a central role in wealth creation, social welfare and international competitiveness through effective exploitation of knowledge, innovation system and flourishing entrepreneurship, among others. As a Ministry, our strategy is to build capacity in tech innovation and utilization of knowledge to transform the economy of this country and therefore we welcome the work that the ADC and Microsoft are doing towards contributing to this agenda,” Mr. Mucheru said.
The new ADC offices will also house The Microsoft Garage. The Garage is structured as a freeform workspace where Microsoft employees, interns, schools, and community groups can find the tools and training they need to launch products and learn skills. Projects born out of Garages around the world include an app that uses artificial intelligence to narrate what a smartphone camera is seeing to visually impaired users. Another project used AI to build a platform hospitals and doctors can use to communicate with patients, including automated symptom checkers and health plan information.
Since its inception in Nairobi in 2019, the ADC has grown to over 450 full-time employees working in areas such as software engineering, machine learning, data science, market research, infrastructure, and much more.