Microsoft announced strategic co-operation agreements with three incubator organizations across the African continent to enable start-ups, innovators and Africa’s developer community to grow their skills and build businesses with Microsoft technologies.
Under Microsoft’s 4Afrika Initiative, the company has entered into agreements with CcHUB in Nigeria, DTBi in Tanzania and AfriLabs, the pan-African hub network.
The co-operation aims to offer increased access to software, skills development opportunities and a means through which start-ups can access capital investment, benefit from international outreach and scale their businesses to the world through Microsoft’s cloud computing solutions.
The Co-Creation Hub, or CcHUB , is Nigeria’s first innovation lab and pre-incubation space designed to catalyze creative social technology ventures. It is a place for technologists, social entrepreneurs, government and investors in and around Lagos to co-create new solutions to address business opportunities and social needs in Nigeria.
The Dar Teknohama Business Incubator or DTBi, is a registered and autonomous entity established by the Tanzania Commission for Science and Technology to promote ICT innovation and entrepreneurship, contributing to job creation and enhanced economic health in Tanzania.
AfriLabs is a network organization that connects incubator hubs across the continent, in order to promote the growth and development of the African technology sector. AfriLabs has 20 member organizations in Cameroon, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Madagascar, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Uganda and Zambia.
Microsoft will work with each organization to:
Support the startup community with Microsoft BizSpark memberships and access to business networking and capital investment opportunities.
Enable developers to access the latest events and workshops on Microsoft’s newest development technologies through relevant community events.
Provide Microsoft devices, including Windows Phones and Windows-based tablets, for testing applications and other software developed by the local IT communities.
Enable them to benefit from the 4Afrika Internship program, which will provide them access to the pool of talent graduating as 4Afrika interns as potential hires for their own facilities.
Enable them to benefit from the 4Afrika Volunteer program, which will provide them with access to the pool of Microsoft employees volunteering in Africa as visiting trainers and mentors at their own facilities.
In advance of DEMO Africa event, Mteto Nyati, vice chair of the 4Afrika Advisory Council and managing director of Microsoft South Africa said: “Microsoft sees boundless potential in African youth, developers and entrepreneurs, and we view the collaborative efforts with these innovation hubs across the continent as strategic and crucial opportunities for us to extend our support to their ecosystems. Through the 4Afrika Initiative, we are deeply committed to helping accelerate African innovation, and we hope these efforts will help us reach more people who are looking to turn their great ideas into a reality that can empower their community, their country and Africa at large.”