Africa Internet

Quick Take: Microsoft Corp. and G42 Digital Investments in Kenya

Microsoft and G42 announced a substantial digital investment initiative in Kenya, partnering with the Republic of Kenya’s Ministry of Information, Communications, and the Digital Economy.

The initiative, supported by an initial $1 billion investment arranged by G42, aims to enhance Kenya’s digital infrastructure, AI capabilities, and connectivity, fostering the region’s digital transformation and economic growth.

Key Components of the Initiative

  1. State-of-the-Art Green Data Center:
    • Location: Olkaria, Kenya.
    • Energy Source: Renewable geothermal energy.
    • Technology: State-of-the-art water conservation technology.
    • Cloud Services: Will run Microsoft Azure, establishing a new East Africa Cloud Region operational within 24 months.
    • Impact: Provides scalable, secure, high-speed cloud and AI services to accelerate digital transformation across Kenya and East Africa.
  2. Four Additional Pillars:
    • Local-language AI Model Development and Research:
      • Development of AI models in Swahili and English.
      • Support for local universities and advanced research via collaborations with institutions like the Microsoft Africa Research Institute and the Mohammed Bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence.
    • East Africa Innovation Lab and Digital Skills Training:
      • Establishment of an Innovation Lab in Nairobi to support startups and entrepreneurs.
      • Extensive digital and AI skilling programs, including cybersecurity training and business skills for young entrepreneurs.
    • Connectivity Investments:
      • Expansion of international and local connectivity infrastructure.
      • Goal to provide last-mile wireless internet access to 20 million people in Kenya and 50 million across East Africa by 2025.
    • Collaboration on Secure Cloud Services:
      • Development of a “trusted data zone” for secure data storage and management.
      • Support for governmental and citizen services through a “cloud-first” policy.
      • Microsoft will provide cybersecurity assistance via the Microsoft Threat Intelligence Center (MSTIC) and Microsoft Threat Analysis Center (MTAC).

Strategic Importance

  • Economic and Societal Impact:
    • Enhances Kenya’s digital economy and positions it as a digital leader in Africa.
    • Supports national priorities like food security, disaster preparedness, and wildlife conservation through AI applications.
    • Bridges the digital divide, fostering inclusive growth and technological innovation.
  • International Collaboration:
    • Highlights a significant partnership between the USA, Kenya, and the UAE, promoting mutual growth and shared prosperity.
    • Symbolizes the largest and broadest digital investment in Kenya’s history, reflecting confidence in the country’s future and governance.


The investment by Microsoft and G42 is set to significantly boost Kenya’s digital infrastructure and capabilities. By establishing a new East Africa Cloud Region and fostering AI and digital skills development, the initiative will drive economic growth, enhance connectivity, and promote technological innovation across East Africa.

The collaboration highlights the importance of Kenya in the global digital landscape and represents a critical step towards a digitally empowered and prosperous future for the region.

Disclosure: The author is an industry analyst, and NAND Research an industry analyst firm, that engages in, or has engaged in, research, analysis, and advisory services with many technology companies, which may include those mentioned in this article. The author does not hold any equity positions with any company mentioned in this article.