In the past, Nigeria belonged to Microsoft’s multi-country cluster, comprising of countries in Africa and the Middle East. The significance of Microsoft Nigeria as a stand-alone entity is that Microsoft can now focus more precisely on Nigeria, in terms of executing growth in the Nigerian market. Furthermore, Microsoft Nigeria now has a higher profile and visibility globally.
According to Kabelo Makwane, Managing Director of Microsoft Nigeria, the launching of a stand-alone Microsoft Nigeria subsidiary is “a very firm statement that Microsoft globally is very serious about Africa and is also very serious about Nigeria, in terms of what this country represents in the broader context of the continent; the significance of this country in terms of being a very big player on the economic landscape of the continent and the innovation landscape on the continent”.
“We want to invest in Nigeria and we want to be present in one of Africa’s largest markets in a very, very real way”, said Mr. Makwane. According to him, the Microsoft Nigeria entity now has more flexibility to “think local but act global – Glocal”.
In February 2013, Microsoft announced the Microsoft 4Afrika Initiative to “help improve the continent’s global competitiveness”. According to Microsoft, the 4Afrika initiative is a multi-year initiative that represents Microsoft’s increased commitment to Africa as the company recently celebrated 20 years of doing business on the continent. The initiative focuses on three critical areas: World-class skills, Access, and Innovation.
The goal of the Microsoft 4Afrika Initiative 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.
Speaking on the Microsoft 4Afrika Initiative, Mr. Makwane said that the initiative reinforces one of the pillars of Microsoft’s strategy in Africa, which is “spurring local economic development on the continent”.
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