The UAE considers AI Investments and Data Centers in Kenya Collaboration

The United Arab Emirates is venturing into investments aimed at bolstering digital infrastructure and fostering artificial intelligence (AI) services in Kenya, with the goal of narrowing the digital gap across Africa and catalyzing technological advancements on the continent.

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A recent memorandum of investment solidifies this commitment between the two nations, outlining plans for collaborative efforts to enhance digital infrastructure and AI endeavors. Among the proposed initiatives are projects to establish data centers with a collective capacity of potentially 1,000 megawatts, alongside assessments of opportunities in developing expansive language models within the AI domain.

Signed by Mohamed Hassan Alsuwaidi, the UAE's Minister of Investment, and Eliud Owalo, the Cabinet Secretary at Kenya's Ministry of Information, Communications, and the Digital Economy, the memorandum seeks to foster synergies between public and private entities from both countries. This collaboration aims to facilitate joint ventures in digital infrastructure ventures, fostering an environment conducive to innovation and progress.

Alsuwaidi underscored the significance of targeted investments in digital infrastructure and AI, asserting that such initiatives are poised to propel sectoral growth and serve as catalysts for broader economic development. Kenya, with its rapidly expanding ICT sector, which has registered an impressive annual growth rate of 23% over the past decade, emerges as a strategic partner in this endeavor. Moreover, the country's status as a preferred destination for data center investments underscores its attractiveness for further technological collaborations.

The burgeoning trade relationship between the UAE and Kenya further underscores the momentum behind this partnership, with bilateral non-oil trade reaching $3.1 billion in 2023, marking a substantial increase from the previous year.

Meanwhile, G42, a prominent AI firm headquartered in Abu Dhabi, announces plans to expand its footprint into Africa, recognizing the continent's strategic importance in its global expansion strategy. Kiril Evtimov, the Group Chief Technology Officer at G42, highlights the company's focus on developing AI solutions tailored to the financial services sector, government services, and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) across Africa.

While specifics regarding the scope of these initiatives are yet to be determined, Evtimov hints at potential involvement in areas such as payment services and micro-lending, signaling G42's commitment to driving inclusive technological innovation across the continent.

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