By Technology Times Staff Reporter
Lagos. February 11, 2013: Microsoft says it has sealed a deal with Bharti Airtel, owners of Airtel Nigeria to accelerate local adoption of the Nokia Lumia 510 and Nokia Lumia 620 Windows Phones.
The US software maker identifies that in Nigeria, 95 per cent of phones sold are feature phones and will through the agreements fund in-store training for consumers who purchase these Nokia models with a data plan.
Microsoft says it has a similar deal with Safaricom in Kenya for the training which explains the benefits of owning a smartphone, helping make these smartphones better understood and therefore, more desirable for consumers.
The Nigeria deal comes under the Microsoft 4Afrika Initiative, a new effort through which the company will actively engage in Africa’s economic development to improve its global competitiveness.
By 2016, the 4Afrika Initiative plans to help place tens of millions of smart devices in the hands of African youth, bring one million African small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) online, up-skill 100,000 members of Africa’s existing workforce, and help an additional 100,000 recent graduates develop employability skills, 75 per cent of whom Microsoft will help place in jobs, the company says.
“The world has recognised the promise of Africa, and Microsoft wants to invest in that promise. We want to empower African youth, entrepreneurs, developers, and business and civic leaders to turn great ideas into a reality that can help their community, their country, the continent and beyond,” says Fernando de Sousa , general manager, 4Afrika Initiative.
“The 4Afrika Initiative is built on the dual beliefs that technology can accelerate growth for Africa, and Africa can also accelerate technology for the world.”
As a first critical step toward increasing the adoption of smart devices, Microsoft and Huawei are introducing the Huawei 4Afrika, a full-functionality Windows Phone 8, which will come preloaded with select applications designed for Africa. The phone will initially be available in Angola, Egypt, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria and South Africa later this month.
The Huawei 4Afrika phone, which is the first in a series of smart devices designed “4Afrika,” will be targeted toward university students, developers and first-time smartphone users to ensure they have affordable access to best-in-class technology to enable them to connect, collaborate, and access markets and opportunities online.