One of the less known aspects of the Chinese-led Belt Road Initiative is its plans for joint scientific centres between China and various African countries. The Joint Sino-African Research Centre between the Chinese Academy of Science and Jomo Kenyatta University in Nairobi, Kenya, is the first of a number of envisaged centres. The Kenya centre is expected to serve as the headquarters for several other such centres ranging from Guinea to Madagascar. Most of these centres will focus on biological and agricultural research.
As part of the programme, China is hosting thousands of African college and postgraduate students. In 2016, 62,000 African students were in China. Only France has a larger number of African students.
Microsoft, in a private initiative, confirmed its plans to spend $ 100 million to set up software development centres in Africa. Its first centres will open up in Lagos, Nigeria, and Nairobi, Kenya, later this year and will initially employ 100 full-time developers. The centres will work on artificial intelligence, machine learning and mixed reality innovation. The US technology giant launched two data centres in South Africa this year with Amazon Web Services planning to open up a centre in Africa next year. Huawei, the controversial Chinese telecom hardware giant, announced plans to set up two such centres in Africa.
Chinese investments fuel growth in African science
Microsoft is making a $100 million bet on African developers
May 30, 2019