Friday, May 29, 2015

Microsoft pledges to invest in youth

Ambassador Cretz (left) interacting with Oko

Microsoft Corporation says technology has huge potential for the youth in the country, as its broad growth mission is to invest in the future of Africa and make a difference by providing people with job opportunities and raising new entrepreneurs.

“We need to provide people with technology and skills to work and create for themselves to secure their future.   

“Ghana is important to the future of Africa, and the future of Africa is important to the world; and obviously a company that does business around the world will need to invest in the future of its people,” Mr.Brad Smith, General Counsel and Executive Vice President Legal and Corporate Affairs, Microsoft, told B&FT in Accra at a breakfast meeting hosted by the American Embassy.

Mr. Smith explained this year the company intends to spend over a billion dollar on over 100 companies around the world, including Africa and Ghana, and that there are some targetted in young people in Ghana but they don’t always have easy access to digital information.

 “We are working with non-governmental organisations to be able to help them in learning, education, and creating employment,” he said, adding that it is because Ghana is critical to the operations of Microsoft.

Mr. Smith, praised Ghana for investing in broadband infrastructure, which he said is good for the nation’s development -- adding that Microsoft, which has been in the country for a decade, is here to offer world-class technology for training the Ghanaian youth.

“Microsoft’s real vision of the company is to reach every person in terms of broadband Internet connectivity,” he remarked.

United States Ambassador to Ghana, Gene Cretz, confirmed that the majority of American companies, including Microsoft, have the ability to find global partners that have respect for local culture and a very keen sense of corporate social responsibility. 

 He recognised Microsoft as one of the proud American Ambassadors, adding that “Microsoft is an integral part of our lives and a drivef for the global economy over the years.

 “Its presence in Africa and in Ghana is not new, as it has well-established and dedicated operations in West Africa.  I am very pleased that Microsoft is focused on building sustainable solutions that incorporate local partners, local management and local know-how.” 

He indicated that Microsoft Ghana is managed by Ghanaians incorporating the best of African and American values.
“We thank Microsoft for its generous support and engagement with the Young African Leaders Initiative, which aims to promote the need to build the capacity of Ghana’s youth today in order for the country to remain competitive in the global workforce tomorrow,” Ambassador Cretz remarked.

 Microsoft has been operating in Ghana for about 10 years and continues to recognise the long-term growth opportunities in the country, and has made significant investments to date in Ghana -- especially in education, the youth, and the communities.

The company is excited to play an active role in economic transformation, using technology to lead economic and social transformation in the country.

Through its programmes in the country, Microsoft has trained 15,000 teachers; reached over one million students; created over 1, 800 jobs, and supported 35 successful startups in the country’s corporate sector.

One of Microsoft’s core projects in the country is its partnership with the Ghanaian Ministry of Education and the British Council, to set up ICT hubs in local schools and communities to accelerate digital literacy across the country.