30 years of Microsoft in Africa

30 years of Microsoft in Africa

Can you believe it? It’s been 30 years since Microsoft opened its first office in Africa. That’s right, 30 years of empowering Africans with technology, innovation and skills. 30 years of making a difference in education, health, agriculture and more. 30 years of being part of the continent’s amazing journey.

But we’re not here to brag. We’re here to celebrate. And what better way to celebrate than with some fun facts about Microsoft in Africa? Here are some of the highlights from our three decades of presence and impact:

  • Did you know that Microsoft was the first global tech company to launch a datacenter region in Africa? That’s right, we beat Google and Amazon to it. And we didn’t stop there. We also launched the first cloud services from Africa, enabling businesses and organizations to access world-class technology and innovation locally.
  • Did you know that Microsoft has trained over 1.7 million young Africans in digital skills since 2013? That’s more than the population of Gambia. And we’re not done yet. We’re committed to reaching 4 million more by 2023, through our flagship programs like 4Afrika, YouthSpark and DigiGirlz.
  • Did you know that Microsoft has supported over 500 startups in Africa, helping them grow and scale their businesses? That’s more than the number of lions in Kenya. And we’re not just talking about funding. We’re talking about mentorship, technical support, access to markets and customers, and more.
  • Did you know that Microsoft has partnered with over 200 non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in Africa, helping them leverage technology for social good? That’s more than the number of countries in the world. And we’re not just talking about donations. We’re talking about co-creating solutions, sharing best practices, and empowering communities.

These are just some of the facts that make us proud of our work in Africa. But we know that we couldn’t have done it without you. You are the ones who inspire us, challenge us, and collaborate with us. You are the ones who make Africa what it is today: a vibrant, diverse, and dynamic continent.

So thank you for being part of our journey. Thank you for trusting us with your dreams and aspirations. Thank you for letting us be part of your story.

Here’s to 30 more years of Microsoft in Africa!

2019: Microsoft in Africa and the Middle East, year in pictures

2019: Microsoft in Africa and the Middle East, year in pictures

Microsoft Africa pictures  LEAP apprenticeship program

We look back at 2019 and acknowledge the year had some amazing surprises and announcements from Microsoft. Especially in the Africa and Middle East region where we focus. Let’s take you through some of these exciting moments through pictures.

Microsoft Africa pictures,  Microsoft virtual academy
Microsoft Virtual Academy homepage

Microsoft announced “we are consolidating our learning resources and retiring Microsoft Virtual Academy (MVA).” The company however has a more modern and update learning page available to learn new skills and technologies.


Microsoft lights up the Gulf startup scene, supporting over 4000 startups across the Middle East and North Africa region.

Yousef Khalid, CVP Azure Networking speaking about the Microsoft Africa datacenters

First Microsoft datacenters in Africa go live in Cape Town and Johannesburg, South Africa. With new services coming to the region.

Equity Equivalent Investment Programme

Microsoft announces evolved multi-million dollar Equity Equivalent Investment Programme for the South African economy.

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Black community at Microsoft celebrate 30th Anniversary.

Team Athena-IO from Tunisia, came in second place at the Europe Middle East and Africa Imagine Cup regional final championship qualifying round.

Microsoft opens second Policy Innovation Centre in partnership with the University of Pretoria and the South Africa Department of Science and Technology. 

NB: not a corresponding picture to details below

This year Microsoft opened its Global Tuition Scholarship to students in Nigeria.

Verah Okeyo

Kenyan environment and health reporter, Verah Okeyo, wins Microsoft Modern Journalism and ICFJ Alumni reporting grant program award.

The shock announcement of the year! Microsoft opening a development center in Africa. The cognition or mixed reality team to be located in Lagos, Nigeria and the Windows team in Nairobi, Kenya.
Microsoft plans to invest a combined expected investment of US $100 million over the first five years of operation. The company will also recruit 500 software engineers across the two sites by the year 2023.

Upepo Technology

Upepo Technology, Kenya recieves Microsoft AI for Earth grant in the area of water innovation.

Nat Friedman, GitHub CEO and Microsoft Corporate Vice President, was in top GitHub contribution country Nigeria to interact with developers.

Africa and Middle East Partner of the year award winners and finalists announced ahead of annual partner conference, Microsoft Inspire 2019.

Microsoft United Arab Emirates

Microsoft announces two new cloud regions in the United Arab Emirates. The datacenters will be located in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

Women Innovators

Women innovators in Kenya, South Africa, the United Arab Emirates to benefit from global expansion of Women in Cloud and IdeaGen Microsoft Cloud Accelerator Program.