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Microsoft to Invest $1Billion Data Center in Kenya Following Closure of Nigerian Facility

Microsoft Corporation and G42, a leading artificial intelligence company in the United Arab Emirates are working together to build a $1 billion geothermal-powered data center in Kenya.

This development follows the decision of Microsoft to close down its African development centre in Lagos Nigeria putting about 200 people out of work.

According to Business Insider Africa, the project marks the first phase of a multiyear initiative aimed at boosting cloud computing capacity and services in East Africa.

The initial investment and construction of the facility will be carried out by G42. They will oversee the construction of the facility in Olkaria, an area in Kenya rich in geothermal resources. This is done to bypass the issue of power outages in the continent as Kenya fits in with Microsoft’s climate goals.

The first phase of the project will have a capacity of 100 megawatts and is expected to be operational in two years.

Microsoft, G42 and Kenyan officials are set to sign a letter of intent tomorrow which was created with the assistance of the US and UAE governments.

Microsoft President Brad Smith who is no stranger to Kenya as a country argued that the new project is a significant step in deepening and embedding digital technology in the country’s history.

He also hailed the alliance with UAE’s G42 citing the significant milestones that could be achieved if both parties work together in promoting digital technology in Africa.

“This shows what G42 and Microsoft have the opportunity to do together that neither one of us could do separately. I frankly think it shows that what the United States and the United Arab Emirates can do together that helps bring technology to new countries, especially across Africa”, Brad smith said.

G42 Chief Executive Officer Peng Xiao explained that the full project would require up to one gigawatt of electricity from the grid.