Kenya secures a $1 billion deal to boost the digital economy

President William Ruto in the company of United States President Joe Biden during his US tour. [PCS]

Kenya has secured a USD 1 billion deal to boost its digital economy ecosystem.

This is expected to enhance the country’s digital infrastructure and spur economic development.

The Ministry of Information, Communications, and the Digital Economy, Microsoft Corporation and G42, signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) focusing on the development of digital projects.

The signing of the LOI is part of President William Ruto’s State Visit to the USA. 

“This is a milestone establishing technology access, critical skilling, and sustainability initiatives in Kenya,” said President Ruto.

He spoke on Wednesday during a tech roundtable at the White House with the United States of America President Joe Biden. 

A major outcome of this LOI is the planned development of a state-of-the-art Green Data Centre by G42, in partnership with Olkaria Ecocloud Data Centre - a local partner that has recently signed an MOU with G42. 

President Ruto said the data centre aims to significantly boost Kenya's digital infrastructure capacity and resilience, with a future capacity of up to 1 Gigawatt.

“It will serve millions of users and fundamentally shape Kenya's digital future.”

Additionally, the data centre will facilitate access to Microsoft Azure through a new East Africa Cloud Region, expected to become operational within 24 months following the signing of definitive agreements.

This cloud region will offer scalable, secure, high-speed cloud and AI services, accelerating cloud adoption and the digital transformation of businesses, customers, and partners throughout Kenya and East Africa.

The initiative also encompasses four additional pillars to be pursued with local partners: local-language AI model development and research, an East Africa Innovation Lab coupled with extensive AI digital skills training, international and local connectivity investments, and collaboration with the Government of Kenya to support safe and secure cloud services across East Africa.

President Biden noted that the U.S. Government will keep investing in Africa’s digital space to expand opportunities.

“This will also transform millions of lives,” he explained.

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