From left to right: Mr. Hennie Loubser, General Manager, Microsoft West, East, Central Africa and the Indian Ocean Islands and Dr. Frannie Léautier, ACBF Executive Secretary
ACBF and Microsoft sign a Memorandum of Understanding to foster sustainable capacity building on the African continent
Johannesburg, 15 November 2010 (ACBF)
On 15 November 2010, the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF) and Microsoft met to formalize a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between their two organizations. MoU is for the two companies to join their formidable reputations and expertise to help co-ordinate various capacity building programmes across Africa.
The MoU between the two parties will focus on improving the effectiveness of public sector management for service delivery; enhancing national and regional capacity to manage ICT policy formulation and implementation in sub-Saharan Africa; and public sector oriented solutions development, all in line with the strategic orientations of the two organisations.
In the coming months, the ACBF and Microsoft will identify and plan for ICT capacity building activities on ICT policy and ICT-related training content to benefit both the public sector and NGOs. Concretely, ACBF will look at supporting key institutions that are delivering already established training content based on Microsoft’s Schools of Government curriculum. The ultimate aim is to develop centres or networks of excellence in ICT in every African regional area with the objective of furthering local knowledge economies and innovation.
Microsoft enters into the partnership through its Unlimited Potential initiative, which aims to enhance national and regional capacity in Africa through technology, while ACBF already has extensive experience in working on Africa’s development programmes, with established regional networks among capacity development partners.
Speaking at the MoU signing in Johannesburg, Dr Frannie Léautier, ACBF Executive Secretary emphasized that the new partnership between ACBF and Microsoft is unique and timely, particularly as the Foundation’s emerging strategy is focused on deepening strategic relationships with the private sector in Africa. Microsoft is one of the first private sector players to formally establish a partnership with ACBF.
Dr Léautier said: “For the African continent to get out of the cycle of poverty it needs to develop sources of economic growth that create employment on a large scale. In order for the continent to be able to play a meaningful role in the services game, highly developed capabilities are required. These capabilities can be developed through tertiary education, support to innovation systems, speeding up sharing of knowledge and ideas that come from scientific reasoning and experimentation, and the ability to really change the functioning of organizations, countries and societies through the role of technology. I am encouraged by recent developments, because when you look at the way in which the African continent has embraced mobile communications technologies, it is a good indication of the potential for creativity and a precursor to Africa becoming the frontier for new discoveries in the coming years. ”
Speaking at the same event, Mr. Hennie Loubser, General Manager, Microsoft West, East, Central Africa and the Indian Ocean Islands, indicated that the skills and expertise that exist within Microsoft and ACBF will help bring sustainable benefits to the Continent.
Mr Loubser said: “Technology is an important catalyst for governments to free up resources and serve their citizens more effectively. Through our partnership with the ACBF, we expect to put our technology and training to use for Africa’s development, where governments can show technology’s positive impact on their local education, innovation and employment. ”