Microsoft : AfDB in new deal to enhance ICT use in Africa
4 June 2014
The African Development Bank (AfDB) has announced a partnership with Microsoft to invest $20 million as part of proposed measures to African governments to promote the use of ICTs.
The announcement was made last week in Kigali, Rwanda during the AfDB Annual Meeting.
Microsoft through its GM for African Initiatives Fernando de Sousa, stressed the important role that ICT can play in creating wealth and jobs for young people in particular.
Microsoft and AfDB plan to develop several types of applications to support capacity building within institutions and private-sector companies under the initiative.
The two institutions will develop joint programmes focused on distance learning and improved access to ICT through the distribution of equipment.
De Sousa said that successful project implementation will require local capacity-building efforts hence it will also be important to ensure that income-generating and job-creating projects are developed through robust public-private partnerships.
"Under the current environment, young people have the opportunity to use these technologies to their benefit. This will help to reduce the unacceptable levels of inequality in many countries across Africa," de Sousa added.
The partnership will cover Kenya, Namibia and Tanzania only and will involve the installation and operation of distance-learning systems to support knowledge-exchange efforts between research institutions.
The project will also involve the deployment of a tele-medicine system in Botswana enabling doctors at a leading hospital in Gaborone to collaborate with their peers at the University of Pennsylvania on diagnosis and treatment.