This is a new effort through which the company will actively engage in Africa’s economic development to improve its global competitiveness.
This is a multi-year initiative that represents our increased commitment to Africa as we celebrate 20 years of doing business on the continent.
The world has recognized the promise of Africa, and Microsoft wants to invest in that promise. As we look forward to our next 20 years, we wanted to explore new ways to link the growth of our business with initiatives that accelerate growth for the continent. To do this, we are focusing on three critical areas – World-class skills, Access and Innovation.
The goal is to empower every African who has a great idea for a business or an application and to turn that idea into a reality which in turn can help their community, their country, or even the continent at large.
The Microsoft 4Afrika Initiative is built on the dual beliefs that technology can accelerate growth for Africa, and Africa can also accelerate technology for the world.
The 4Afrika Initiative focuses on three critical areas of development for the continent – World-class skills, Access and Innovation.
Each of these focuses on different aspects that will help 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.
The Microsoft 4Afrika Initiative 3 focus development areas are -
World Class Skills - "Enable entrepreneurship and improved employability"
World-Class Skills is about Microsoft’s plans to develop a self-sustaining, world-class education platform, both online and offline, to help Africans develop skills for entrepreneurship and improved employability and competitiveness. As part of this, we have established the Afrika Academy, which is designed to benefit recent higher education graduates, government leaders and the Microsoft partner community. Our efforts in the Academy will rely heavily on partners, including African universities, research institutions and others.
Access - "Provide affordable access to smart devices and cloud services"
Access to technology -- particularly cloud services and smart devices can and will serve as a great accelerator for African competitiveness. The 4Afrika Initiative intends to help provide affordable access to smart devices – Windows devices, including PCs, slates, phones – for young Africans. Through the 'Mawingu' white spaces pilot, we are also working to improve access to the internet across Kenya and beyond. Last but not least, we are also working hard to facilitate access to free, relevant web services for African small and medium enterprises through financing, partnerships and smart sourcing
Innovation -"Build Windows applications by Africans, for Africa"
Microsoft wants to help ignite African innovation for the continent and for the world. We are committed to working closely with African ISVs and developers to accelerate the development of highly relevant Windows 8 and Windows Phone apps – by Africans, for Africa. We are investing in developers to enable them to get access to the technology, mentorship, connections, and go-to-market support they need to thrive.
For more information go to - http://www.microsoft.com/africa/4afrika/default.aspx