Microsoft Corp. has partnered with Kenya’s tech business incubator iHub and the m:lab East Africa,a mobile consortium to help web and mobile entrepreneurs develop skills and build businesses using Microsoft technologies.
This cooperation comes just weeks after the Intel partnership showing the increasing believe in the growth of the Silicon Savannah.
The partnership, under Microsoft’s larger Microsoft 4Afrika Initiative will see iHub and Mlab reach out to the tech communities to help them have access to software, skills development opportunities and access capital investment and benefit from international outreach.
Support Entrepreneurs Ambitions & Goals
According to Fernando de Sousa, general manager, Microsoft Africa Initiatives, speaking at the Innovation Africa Digital Summit in Ethiopia today, “Microsoft sees tremendous potential in African youth, developers and entrepreneurs, and we see this collaboration with iHub and m:lab as an excellent way to quickly and directly engage with these critical communities to listen to how we can best support their ambitions and goals.”
de Sousa added, “It is our hope that this collaboration will help many more African startups become strong players in the information and communication technology sector at a global scale.”
Applauding the initiative, Erik Hersman, managing director and founder of iHub said, “We are very pleased to establish this cooperation with Microsoft, spanning the iHub ecosystem, to enable us to provide tech community members with great programs that can help them develop innovative new software products, establish their businesses and reach new markets.”
Hersman added, “Microsoft is clearly a brand that developers and startups want to engage with, and we look forward to this collaboration, which will accelerate the development of technology across East Africa.”
Facilities,Business Networking & Capital Investment Opportunities
The partnership will benefit web and mobile entrepreneurs in Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Kenya, Somalia and Southern Sudan via Microsoft BizSpark software memberships, trainings, participation in events, and access to business networking and capital investment opportunities. Access to latest events and workshops on Microsoft’s newest development technologies through iHub and m:lab community events, including trainings with the iHub UX lab, having access to Microsoft facilities at iHub and m:lab facilities such as Microsoft devices, establishing collaboration between the iHub Research team and Microsoft Research and enabling collaboration between the iHub Consulting team and Microsoft Consulting Services on joint customer projects.
Improve Africa’s Global Competitiveness
The Microsoft 4Afrika Initiative aims at developing skills of over 100,000 employees and over 100,000 recent graduates to up their employability and improve Africa’s global competitiveness. Microsoft’s partnership with iHub and m:lab, will help place tens of millions of smart devices in the hands of African youth, bring 1 million African small and medium-size enterprises online.
Microsoft promises to help place into jobs 75 percent those who go through its skills programmes.