Microsoft Officially Launches its Premier Engineering Hub, the African Development Centre(ADC) in Nairobi Kenya.

The African Development Centre is not new to the Kenyan market. It just revamped and relocated to a new ultra-modern state-of-the-art facility, located at Dunhill Towers along Waiyaki Way. This is the first of its kind serving the East African region.

The facility 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 African Development Centre was initially launched back in 2019, where it had envisioned employing 500 engineers in Africa by 2023. To this date, ADC has over 570 engineers, proving its tremendous growth and impact in the region.

In Kenya, the ADC has over 450 full-time employees working in areas such as software engineering, machine learning, data science, market research, infrastructure, and much more.

The new African Development Centre facility was officially launched by H.E the president Uhuru Kenyatta, who was accompanied by Joe Mucheru, the Cabinet Secretary for ICT, Innovation and Youth Affair among other key guests.

Microsoft Africa Development Centre Managing Director, Jack Ngare shows H.E President Uhuru Kenyatta around the newly opened ADC Offices at Dunhill Towers, Westlands, Nairobi.

“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. 

As part of Microsoft’s global ambition to be net carbon negative by 2030, the facility has been constructed in a similar fashion to Microsoft global offices.

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.”

Having the facility in Kenya just reiterates its position as an innovation hub in the region and Microsoft’s belief in the future of innovation in Kenya and the continent in general.

The Garage

The African Development Center hosts The Garage, 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.

The Garage

This is just one of the many other Microsoft garages around the world, meant to spread the values of openness and collaboration throughout the Microsoft ADC, where people come to The Garage to work with interdisciplinary teams on passion projects that sometimes make their way into Microsoft products.

The Garage in Kenya is spearheaded by Lydia Karanja, who’s committed to helping Microsoft employees, customers and developers tap into their creative prowess to come up with cutting edge technologies that will solve the problems we have in the world today.

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. The Garage has locations in Boston, Vancouver, Israel, India, and China.

“I can’t wait to see the next big thing coming out of Africa.’’ – Lydia Karanja

Innovation is key as it allows organizations to stay relevant in the competitive market and also acts as a catalyst for economic growth.

The African Development Center has been operating for three years now, and amazing programs such as the Game of Learners have emerged from the center. I can’t wait to see what kind of innovations will emerge from the center, and specifically The Garage.

For more information on the launch of the African Development Centre Nairobi office, follow the conversation HERE.



About the Author

Sharon Adisa
Sharon is a writer and editor who strives to continually further both the depth and breadth of her skills as a writer so as to contribute superior work and deliver client and customer satisfaction.

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