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American technology giant Microsoft Corporation will set up a development center in Kenya. Speaking at a meeting hosted by President Uhuru Kenyatta at State House, Nairobi, on Monday, the firm’s top executives led by Vice President for Gaming Phil Spencer said the Africa Development Centre will serve the East African region. The technology center, the seventh globally, will not only be Microsoft’s gateway to the region but will carry huge potential for jobs and business opportunities for tech-savvy Kenyan youth. Mr. Spencer said the firm will absorb 100 local engineers. President Kenyatta welcomed the initiative and assured Microsoft of his full support. “You can count on my 100 percent support. I want this to be a transparent partnership that benefits Microsoft and Kenyans. We want you to make Kenya your African home," President Kenyatta said. The President said Kenya is the best place to host the new development site. “You will not find another country with the same capacity as Kenya," he said. According to Microsoft, the Africa Development Centre will be a premier hub of engineering for the US technology company and its affiliates. The center will leverage the diversity of the regional landscape to build world-class talent capable of creating innovative solutions for global impact. Further, the center is expected to establish a collaborative engineering springboard for new technology investments in Kenya. Besides Nairobi, Microsoft has earmarked Nigeria as the other beneficiary of a similar facility on the continent to serve West Africa. He said the new development sites carry great potential for job creation, talent development, and technology transfer among Africa's youth especially in countries with good ICT literacy ratings such as Kenya. President Kenyatta said the new initiatives by Microsoft is in line with the government’s Big 4 development agenda. The Head of State called for openness in the partnership and challenged Microsoft to ensure intellectual property rights of Kenyans involved in their projects are adequately protected. Further details can be found on OUR FORUM.

 

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