WASHINGTON - The United States is lining up major investments in Kenya’s tech sector, with deals announced during President William Ruto’s state visit.

Microsoft and UAE’s G42 investment group on Wednesday announced a $1 billion investment in Kenya’s digital economy. Microsoft President Brad Smith described the investment, focused on the development of a green data center and AI, as the “single largest and broadest private digital investment in the country’s history.”

The data center will be powered by geothermal energy and will run Microsoft Azure, enabling Microsoft to offer cloud and AI services to businesses and organizations across the region.

A letter of intent formalizing the project is set to be signed on Friday in Washington DC. Microsoft said the letter was “crafted with the assistance” of the US and UAE governments.

US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo separately revealed plans to make Kenya the first African country to access funding through the CHIPS Act. The partnership would see the US government support the development of Kenya’s semiconductor assembly, testing, and packaging sector. It is part of a bid to diversify the global semiconductor ecosystem and strengthen US supply chains.

“This partnership is bigger than technology itself,” Ruto said. “It is about the coming together of countries with a common vision of a nation empowered by technology.”