Microsoft Corp. today introduced the Microsoft 4Afrika Initiative, a new effort through which the company will actively engage in Africa’s economic development to help to improve its global competitiveness. By 2016, the 4Afrika Initiative plans to:
- help place tens of millions of smart devices in the hands of African youth,
- bring 1 million African small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) online,
- upskill 100,000 members of Africa’s existing workforce, and
- help an additional 100,000 recent graduates develop employability skills, 75 percent of whom Microsoft will help place in jobs.
“The world has recognized the promise of Africa, and Microsoft wants to invest in that promise. We want to empower African youth, entrepreneurs, developers, and business and civic leaders to turn great ideas into a reality that can help their community, their country, the continent and beyond,” said Fernando de Sousa, general manager, 4Afrika Initiative. “The 4Afrika Initiative is built on the dual beliefs that technology can accelerate growth for Africa, and Africa can also accelerate technology for the world.”
As a first critical step toward increasing the adoption of smart devices, Microsoft and Huawei are introducing the Huawei 4Afrika, a full-functionality Windows Phone 8, which will come preloaded with select applications designed for Africa. The phone will initially be available in Angola, Egypt, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria and South Africa later this month. The Huawei 4Afrika phone, which is the first in a series of smart devices designed “4Afrika,” will be targeted toward university students, developers and first-time smartphone users to ensure they have affordable access to best-in-class technology to enable them to connect, collaborate, and access markets and opportunities online. (See related release and blog.)
Image provided by Microsoft 4Afrika Initiative.