Microsoft and Nigerian Government have announced a partnership aimed at accelerating the nation’s move to becoming a digital economy.
This is sequel to talks between both parties. Microsoft has identified three key pillars that will help to build strong foundations for a digital economy in Nigeria.
The three key pillars includes; connectivity, skilling and digital transformation.
“We believe in the future of Nigeria, and we are excited as a company to add to our investments,” says Brad Smith, Microsoft President.
“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.”
Microsoft, after discussions with the Federal Ministry of Communication and Digital Economy and local partners, has picked six regions in the country for the development of high-speed internet infrastructure.
Microsoft’s Airband team will work closely with local partners to improve broadband connectivity in these communities while also assisting with the design and implementation of hyper-scale cloud services.
It further disclosed its plan to train five million people in Nigeria over the next three years.
“To help reach this goal, 1,700 trainers will provide blended online and in-person training courses to the country’s youth as well as government workers. Government will also be given the tools to digitally transform skilling, education, and employment methods to match job seekers with the right employers. In doing so, we hope to create over 27,000 new digital jobs in the next three years,” Microsoft explained.
It added that “the final pillar, digital transformation, will initially be made up of two initiatives. The first will address corruption, a major global challenge with economic losses totalling $3.6 trillion each year. By collaborating with local partners, Microsoft will support the design and implementation of cloud-based tools to further enable government’s fight against corruption.
“Microsoft will be partnering with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to apply technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning to help identify potential risk, highlight them, and reduce corruption.
“The second initiative will help protect Nigeria’s rich cultural heritage, as Microsoft will look to deploy artificial intelligence tools to safeguard these treasures for future generations. Through a newly formed partnership with the National Institute of Cultural Orientation, Microsoft will support the organisation’s efforts to preserve and revive Nigeria’s three major indigenous languages: Hausa, Yoruba, and Igbo.”