Microsoft to create 100,000 jobs in Africa and Middle East
Microsoft has said that it is looking to create over 100,000 job opportunities and aims to reach over seven million people across the Middle East and Africa by the end of the year.
The tech-giant said that it will achieve this lofty goal through using its various employability platforms, and through leveraging partnerships with public and private sector organisations, as well as non-governmental organisations (NGOs).
Ali Faramawy, Microsoft Middle East and Africa’s corporate vice president said: “Unemployment in Africa and the Middle East is not a new issue, but its scope is growing with the youth bulge and economic downturn worldwide and we need to find new solutions to address this problem.”
Microsoft Fast-Tracks African Startups with Innovation Grants
Microsoft Teams Up With Local Partners to Encourage Kenyan Female Graduates
Microsoft Supports Africa Ecommerce Portal to Bring Economies Online
Microsoft’s solution, in the form of its employability platforms, is in African markets which include Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa, Botswana, Algeria, and Ghana. It will expand to 21 countries across the Middle East and Africa (MEA) including Tanzania, Mozambique, Angola, Zimbabwe, and Mauritius.
Faramawy said: “Part of the unemployment problem is caused by a lack of economic opportunity as well as the fact that graduates from secondary and tertiary institutions lack the skills required by employers. But there is no shortage of determination and even in a country like Iraq that has been faced with some dire situations, our platform has helped put 30 000 youths into jobs in the past 14 months.”
5 minutes with... Janthana Kaenprakhamroy, CEO, Tapoly
Founder and CEO of award-winning insurtech firm Tapoly, Janthana Kaenprakhamroy heads up Europe’s first on-demand insurance platform for the gig economy, winning industry awards, innovating in the digital insurance space, and leading with inclusivity.
Here, Business Chief talks to Janthana about her leadership style and skills.
What do you do, in a nutshell?
I’m founder and CEO of Tapoly, a digital MGA providing a full stack of commercial lines insurance specifically for SMEs and freelancers, as well as a SaaS solution to connect insurers with their distribution partners. We build bespoke, end-to-end platforms encompassing the whole customer journey, but can also integrate our APIs within existing systems. We were proud to win Insurance Provider of the Year at the British Small Business Awards 2018 and receive silver in the Insurtech category at the Efma & Accenture Innovation in Insurance Awards 2019.
How would you describe your leadership style?
I try to be as inclusive a leader as possible. I’m committed to creating space for everyone to shine. Many of the roles at Tapoly are performed by women and I speak at industry events to encourage more people to get involved in insurance/insurtech. Similarly, I always try to maintain a growth mindset. I think it’s important to retain values to support learning and development, like reliability, working hard and punctuality.
What’s the best leadership advice you’ve received?
Build your network and seek advice. As a leader, you need smart people around you to help you grow your business. It’s not about personally being the best, but being able to find resources and get help where needed.
How do you see leadership changing in a COVID world?
I think the pandemic has proven the importance of inclusive leadership so that everyone feels supported and valued. It’s also shown the importance of being flexible as a leader. We’ve had to remain adaptable to continue delivering high levels of customer service. This flexibility has also been important when supporting employees as everyone has had individual pressures to deal with during this time. Leaders should continue to embed this flexibility within their organisations moving forward.
They say ‘from every crisis comes opportunity’, what opportunities do you see?
The past year has been challenging, but it has also proven the importance of digital transformation in insurance. When working from home was required, it was much harder for insurers to adjust who had not embedded technology within their operating processes because they did not have data stored in the cloud and it caused communication delays with concerned customers at a time when this communication should have been a priority, which ultimately impacts the level of customer satisfaction. This demonstrates the importance of what we are trying to achieve at Tapoly in driving digitalisation in insurance and making communication between insurers and distribution partners seamless.
What advice would you give to your younger self just starting out in the industry?
Start sooner, don’t be afraid to take (calculated) risks and make sure you raise enough money to get you through the initial seed stage.