Microsoft has restated its commitment towards growing the Information Communication Technology sector in the country. Microsoft reiterated its commitment at the opening of a new office in Civic Tower, Victoria Island, Lagos.
Commenting on the opening of the office which was also graced by Jim Ovia, Chairman, Zenith Bank and Funke Opeke, Chief Executive Officer, Mainone Cable Company Nigeria Ltd, the Managing Director, Microsoft Nigeria, Kabelo Makwane, said that, “This office presents us the opportunity to invest and enable us localize our capability to impact the Nigerian market and forge strategic partnerships such as the one with MainOne, which is an extension of our offerings.’’
One of the transformation partners present at the event, CEO, MainOne Cable Company Nigeria Limited, Funke Opeke, stated that, “As a partner, we have been working with Microsoft for 18 months, offering commercial cloud services to our customers in Nigeria and we have confidently delivered uninterrupted services; thanks to the technology provided by Microsoft.”
Kabelo added that, “Microsoft is excited to partner with the government in the areas of innovation on a global scale, creation of employment through capacity building and skills acquisition program for young talented individuals.”
Expressing his delight at the opening of the office, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Communications and Technology, Arc. Sonny Echono, said that, “It is good to know that Microsoft is committed to increasing capacity in the ICT industry in Nigeria, and this is capable of deepening participation and widening the scope of technology in Nigeria, which also present opportunities for potential investors.”
In this time, the global technology giant has witnessed incredible growth on the continent with more internet connectivity, more digital capability and more innovation.
She said that Africans have expanded the applications of technology, changing the way communities bank, farm and even access healthcare.
“At Microsoft, we’re very fortunate to have played a part in realising this potential, building strong partnerships to accelerate digital transformation and create sustained societal impact. A big milestone for this investment came earlier this year, as we opened Africa’s first hyper-scale datacentres in South Africa, promoting business innovation in the cloud.
“As the next step on our journey in Africa, and to better understand a continent rapidly adopting technology in the cloud, and at the edge, Microsoft today launched its Africa Development Centre (ADC) for West Africa located in Nigeria. With two initial sites in Nairobi, Kenya and Lagos, Nigeria, the ADC will serve as a premier centre of engineering for Microsoft, where world-class African talent can create solutions for local and global impact”, she said.
Olatomiwa Williams, the Country Manager, Microsoft Nigeria and Ghana described the ADC as a platform that supports Microsoft’s mission to empower every person and organisation on the planet to achieve more.
The ADC, she said, is the first Global Development Centre in Africa with a combined expected investment of US $100 million over the first five years of operation.
On his part, Gafar Lawal, Managing Director, Microsoft African Development Centre, West Africa, stressed that the Continent is poised for innovation at the intelligent edge.
He said that, to staff the ADC, they started recruitment in 2019, seeking engineering talent from across the region to fuel AI, machine learning and mixed reality innovation.