Posted by Hennie Loubser
General Manager, Microsoft West, East, Central Africa and the Indian Ocean Islands

In recent years, it has been the private sector that has driven the expansion of technology access in Africa, by investing USD 11.5 billion or an average 1.3% of Africa’s GDP between 2004 and 2007 (Source: African Economic Outlook). That is because businesses like Microsoft - and many, many others - understand the capacity that technology in all its forms, from the PC to the mobile phone, can build for societies and economies. 

To expand on our commitment to Africa’s development, we have partnered with the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF) to use technology to promote good governance and poverty reduction on the continent.

Specifically, the Memorandum of Understanding that Dr Frannie Léautier, ACBF Executive Secretary, and I signed in Johannesburg earlier this month outlines how we are bringing our expertise and resources together to identify where technology and training can: 

1. Improve the effective delivery of public services for citizens;
2. Enhance national and regional capacity to formulate and implement ICT policies;
3. Develop public sector-oriented ICT solutions.

I am proud that Microsoft is one of the first companies in the private sector to formally establish a partnership with the ACBF, an organisation celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, and I encourage others in the industry to lend their support to sustainable capacity building programmes in Africa.