As of October 2015, Amrote Abdella has taken over Fernando de Sousa’s role of regional director for Microsoft’s 4Afrika Initiative, a program initiated by Microsoft that aims to improve access to technology, resources, and skills development for African individuals and companies.
“At Microsoft, our mission is to empower every person and organisation on the planet to do more. The 4Afrika Initiative is perfectly aligned to accelerate this for the African continent through locally relevant innovation, affordable access and skills development,” Abdella said in a statement after her promotion. “Creativity is what I love most about working in Africa and is what I hope to continue to help unlock and ignite across the continent — to see Africans not just being empowered by technology but also building innovative solutions relevant for our markets.”
Abdella has a rather impressive body of experience before her time at Microsoft and has worked at the World Economic Forum, the World Bank Group, the Hunger Project, and the Grameen Foundation with a focus on African financial services, policy guidance, and economic development.
Corporate vice president for Microsoft Middle East & Africa, Ali Faramawy had the following to say about Abdella’s appointment, “Having worked with the initiative since its launch in 2013, Amrote has a deep understanding of both the continent and 4Afrika’s mission. Her wealth of firsthand, on-the-ground experience with startups, investors, government bodies and nonprofit organisations has given her insight into the exact challenges and opportunities we’re focusing on through 4Afrika. We are confident in her ability to move the initiative forward and refocus our efforts.”
Microsoft’s 4Afrika initiative has to date helped 273,000 small- to medium-size enterprises, 76,000 young people and 20,000 government employees. Two noteworthy examples of 4Afrika projects are the recent introduction of telemedicine services in Botswana and providing internet services to universities in Ghana.
Have you heard much about 4Afrika before now? What do you think is Microsoft’s most impressive initiative? Let us know in the comments below.