Microsoft Corporation has launched Microsoft 4Afrika Initiative, a new effort through which it will actively engage in Africa’s economic development to improve its global competitiveness. As part of the project, Microsoft is investing N12 billion in Nigeria.
Speaking during the commemoration of the company’s stewardship in Africa, Mr. Emmanuel Onyeje, country manager, Microsoft Nigeria, said the efforts focus on accelerating adoption of smart devices, empowering small and medium businesses, and up-leveling skills development to ignite African innovation for the Continent and for the world.
He said by 2016, Microsoft projects to help place tens of millions of smart devices in the hands of African youths, bring one million African SMEs online, up-skill 100,000 members of the Africa’s existing workforce, and help an additional 100,000 recent graduates develop skills for employability, 75 per cent of which Microsoft will help place in jobs.
Onyeje said: “Microsoft wants to invest in that promise which recognises Africa’s promise. We want to empower African youths, entrepreneurs, developers and business and civic leaders to turn great ideas into reality that can help community, their country, the Continent and beyond.
“The Initiative is built on the dual beliefs that technology can accelerate growth for Africa, and Africa can also accelerate technology for the world”.
The Country Manager said that Microsoft was motivated to embark on the projects as part of its contributions to Africa’s transformation initiatives.
He also announced that Microsoft has developed a new online hub through which Africa SMEs will have access to free, relevant products and services from Microsoft and other partners.
“The hub will aggregate the available services which can help them expand their business locally, find new business opportunities outside their immediate geography and help increase their overall competitiveness,” he added.
As a welcome offer, he said that the Company will provide free domain registration for the period of one year and free tools for qualifying SMEs interested in creating a professional web presence.