Microsoft is keeping a close eye on the innovation and tech-generated startups coming out of Africa lately and the IT giant is hinting at some major opportunities for the company and the emerging entrepreneurs. Demo Africa aims to connect African startups to the global ecosystem by giving them a substantial platform with financial backing to launch and grow their businesses. Apparently, Microsoft is on board with the plan and is ready to create serious opportunities for the young software innovators in Africa.
“For African investment it is an event that touches one of the core pillars of our drive around inspiring local economic development in the continent,” said Kabelo Makwane, the managing director of Microsoft SA, according to CNBC Africa. Demo Africa is an affair that is sweeping the entire continent, but Makwane stressed the importance of seeing so much local participation in Nigeria. “It is really encouraging because the same could not be said for the past where the momentum was a bit slow,” he said.
“We have seen significant growth through public and private sector participation and also international donors and funders that have really risen to the occasion in helping to support these businesses to set up.” He went on to say that Microsoft is always looking for opportunities in invest in something that will “contribute to real local economic development.” Needless to say, the startups being launched through Demo Africa are exactly what they’re looking for. “The first major reason is a very firm statement that Microsoft globally is very serious about Africa and is also very serious about Nigeria in terms of what this country represents in the broader context of the continent,” Makwane added. Nigeria holds one of the continent’s largest markets, and, to Microsoft, that screams of opportunity.
“There is a nice catchphrase that says ‘Glocal,’ ” Makwane said. “We want to be more Glocal now as opposed to where we were in the past. So this means coming up with solutions and initiatives that are most relevant in a real way that can make a meaningful impact to the Nigerian context.”