Microsoft has today partnered with the Government of Nigeria to put the country’s digital transformation rate on a fast-moving lane. In a joint statement by Microsoft and the Government, the Technology company has detailed several projects aimed at helping the country become a more digital-first economy.
According to a Press brief shared by Microsoft, the company identified 3 pillars that can help build strong foundations for a digital economy in the West African country. The 3 Pillars include connectivity, skilling, and digital transformation. If put into action, these will help the country become one of the most digital-first economies by creating jobs and putting technology to work as the Microsoft President confirmed.
“We believe in the future of Nigeria, and we are excited as a company to add to our investments. Together, we have an enormous opportunity to put technology to work, create jobs, to foster the technology ecosystem across Nigeria, and to use technology to preserve the best of the past and take us into the future.”Said Brad Smith, Microsoft President
In light of the current COVID19 Pandemic, the Nigeria Internet penetration rate is estimated at 50% of the total population, and as per Microsoft’s brief, the pandemic has increased the pace of digitalization in the country. But according to the technology company, much more need to be done to empower citizens to take advantage of the opportunities of a digital economy.
As per the new partnership, Micorosft plans to roll out its Airband high-speed internet connectivity service that was developed to reach underserved communities around the world in a fashion similar to Space X’s Starlink and One Web’s Satellite broadband solutions. The technology is cheaper and faster to deploy than fiber optic connections with extra mileage to travel longer distances.
Now, Microsoft’s Airband team will work closely with local partners in Nigeria to improve broadband connectivity in underserved communities across 6 regions of the country. Additionally, the Microsoft team will further assist in the design and implementation of hyper-scale cloud services.
Also, 5 Million People will be skilled by Microsoft over the next 3 years as part of the new partnership with the Nigerian Government. To achieve the training mark, the company confirms that it will need 1,700 trainers who provide blended online and in-person training courses. On top of that, the Nigerian Government will also be given the tools to digitally transform skilling, education, and employment methods with a target of creating over 27,000 digital jobs for the population.
“We are setting ourselves a big goal, to bring access to digital skills to five million people in Nigeria over the next three years, But this is not something we can do by ourselves. We will equip master trainers and, along with them, are committed to creating thousands of new jobs.”Continued Smith
So, starting 2021, Microsoft and the Nigerian Government will work hand in hand to digitally transform the country and create more jobs for the general population. In a like manner, the Technology company could soon partner with another African country to increase the uptake of its programs and further extend its Airband Internet service.