In Microsoft’s ‘4Afrika’ launch, a surprising game-changer
Friday, February 8, 2013
When Microsoft unveiled a multipronged investment in African technological capacity and human capital a few days ago, its new smart phone, manufactured by the Chinese company Huawei, dominated news coverage.
Winning over Africa’s fast-growing smart phone market is an ambitious goal: Windows-based phones have a two-percent share of the global market. But Microsoft’s development-focused goals announced on Tuesday, Feb. 5, at events across Africa may be equally if not more ambitious.
In the next three years, the Microsoft Afrika Initiative aims to “help place tens of millions” of smartphones in the hands of African consumers, bring 1 million small and medium-size African businesses and nonprofits online, train 100,000 African university graduates (and find jobs for 75,000 of them), and pilot low-cost wireless broadband in Kenya using “white-space” spectrum.