Microsoft has announced a strategic cooperation agreement with three incubator organizations across Africa. The partnership will see Microsoft work with the incubation hubs to enable startups, innovators and Africa’s developer community to grow their skills and build businesses with Microsoft technologies.
Under the recently launched Microsoft 4Afrika Initiative, Microsoft has entered into agreements with CcHUB in Nigeria, DTBi in Tanzania and AfriLabs, the pan-African hub network.
The cooperation aims to offer the communities working in these hubs increased access to software, skills development opportunities and a means through which innovative startups can access capital investment, benefit from international outreach and scale their businesses to the world through Microsoft’s cloud computing solutions.
“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,” said Mteto Nyati, vice chair of the 4Afrika Advisory Council and managing director of Microsoft South Africa, speaking at DEMO Africa last week.
Microsoft will work with the startup community to develop business skills of developers through the Microsoft BizSpark membership, offer software training and provide Microsoft devices, including Windows Phones and Windows-based tablets, for testing applications.
In addition, the 4Afrika Internship program will provide access to the pool of talent graduating as 4Afrika interns as potential hires and the 4Afrika Volunteer program, which will provide access to the pool of Microsoft employees volunteering in Africa.
“Nairobi’s iHub has provided a lot of best practices on how to manage talent and ideas in an incubation hub. AfriLabs cooperation with Microsoft will seek to replicate some of the successes we have seen and also provide necessary support to community members,” said Tayo Akinyemi, Afrilabs Director.
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.