Microsoft’s main engineering hub, the African Development Centre (ADC), is shifting to its own offices in Nairobi after three years of effective operation in Kenya, underlining the company’s commitment to the continent.
The ADC will now be based in Dunhill Towers on Waiyaki Way in a brand new ultra-modern state-of-the-art facility.
The complex will host the engineering, design, research, and innovation teams, as well as the Microsoft Garage, a tech incubation hub that was developed as part of the continent’s continuous efforts to grow tech innovation.
President Uhuru Kenyatta, who was joined by Joe Mucheru, the Cabinet Secretary for ICT, Innovation, and Youth Affairs, and other dignitaries, officially opened the facility.
“As a premier centre of research and development for Microsoft, we all remain confident that you – together with our young men and women – will build a local world class talent and create innovative technological solutions that will yield global positive impacts,” President Kenyatta pointed out.
The ADC has expanded to approximately 450 full-time employees since its establishment in Nairobi in 2019, working in fields such as software engineering, machine learning, data science, market research, infrastructure, and more.
“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,” Mucheru said.
On his part, the ADC Managing Director, Jack Ngare said: “One of our proud achievements in developing this facility was during the construction phase when we hired over 100 builders, artisans, architects, artists, craftsmen, women groups, and other skilled and unskilled workers, all during the height of the COVID pandemic. In addition, most of the construction materials were locally sourced thus ploughing back into the economy. We anticipate more employment will be created in the future, both in the day-today running of the facility and to staff the various community engagements that will take place.”
As part of Microsoft’s global objective to be net carbon negative by 2030, the facility was designed in a similar manner as Microsoft’s global offices to optimize space use, air conditioning, and lighting modifications. Self-heating windows, a micro solar plant to power the facility, and a water treatment facility to recycle and cleanse the water will all be accessible at the new ADC location.
The centre is one of the largest software engineering facilities in Africa and sets the standard for a new generation of technology hubs across the continent.