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Ahmed Larouz | Microsoft introduces 4Afrika Initiative for Africa youth, entrepreneurs
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Microsoft introduces 4Afrika Initiative for Africa youth, entrepreneurs

Microsoft introduces 4Afrika Initiative for Africa youth, entrepreneurs

AllAfricaObserverNASDAQ (February 2013) — Microsoft Corporation has introduced the Microsoft 4Afrika Initiative M4A, through which it will actively engage in Africa’s economic development to improve its global competitiveness.

“We want to empower African youth, entrepreneurs, developers, business and civic leaders to turn great ideas into a reality,” said a statement from Fernando de Sousa, the initiative’s general manager.

M4A plans to distribute millions of smart devices to African youths, bring one million African small and medium enterprises (SMEs) online, up-skill 100,000 members of Africa’s existing workforce and help an additional 100,000 recent graduates develop skills for employability.

In a move to empower SMEs, Microsoft announced a new online hub through which African SMEs will have access to free, relevant products and services from Microsoft and other partners. The hub will aggregate the available services which can help them expand their business locally and find new business opportunities.

The hub is expected to open in April, initially in Morocco and South Africa.

Morocco’s OFPPT selects cloud-based Microsoft Office 365suite for its 327 vocational training institutes across Morocco, creating 100 new Microsoft IT Academies

Zack’s Analyst Blog
Morocco’s Office of Vocational Training and Employment Promotion (OFPPT) has chosen the world’s largest software maker Microsoft Corp. ( MSFT ) for deploying vocational education across 35 fields of study through its 327 training institutes across the African nation.

Moroccan-Flag-Circle-psd45460Morocco’s OFPPT opted for Microsoft Office 365 software to improve its education and vocational training offerings provided to students in the country. The OFPPT will create 100 new Microsoft IT Academies throughout the country. The partnership will benefit Morocco by improving the employability of its people. It will also leverage Microsoft’s strength in offering quality training and vocational exercises and at the same time help teachers and students to keep pace with the ever-evolving technology sector.

Microsoft’s Office 365 is a cloud-based, subscription-based software service. It was officially launched in 2011. The new Office comes with the traditional word processing, spreadsheets and email programs.

IT certifications are gaining importance in the job market, as certifications are considered a key factor for getting employed. Moreover, Microsoft itself can employ the certified students. Thus, Microsoft will have an ideal workforce for its local businesses.

Microsoft’s Office 365 is gaining traction in the market as it recently launched its online version focusing on touch devices. Further, it is being deployed in the stores of retailers such as J. C. Penney Company Inc. ( JCP ) and U.K.-based retailer Tesco.

Currently, just like other PC makers, Microsoft is also battling the slump in the PC market caused by the sluggish economy. In addition, the popularity of smartphones and tablets from Apple ( AAPL ) and Google ( GOOG ) has been cannibalizing PC market sales, further deteriorating the scenario. Whether it can come out of the slump on the back of its new software and OS is a wait and see game.

Microsoft reported revenue, excluding deferrals, of $21.46 billion in the second quarter of fiscal 2013, which was up 34.0% sequentially and 2.7% from last year, in line with our estimates. All except the Entertainment & Devices segment grew both sequentially and from the year-ago quarter. Entertainment & Devices were down year over year.

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