Microsoft welcomes youth to 4Afrika Advisory Council
Microsoft introduced the first four youth members to the 4Afrika Advisory Council to ensure the critical voices of Africa’s large youth demographic are heard.
The Microsoft 4Afrika Advisory Council, announced last October, is an external board of advisers tasked with guiding strategic investments undertaken by the Microsoft 4Afrika Initiative.
Microsoft 4Afrika was launched one year ago to facilitate Microsoft’s active engagement in Africa’s economic development. The four youth ambassadors will represent the issues facing Africa’s rural and urban youth, including unemployment, education and access to technology.
H.E. Benjamin Mkapa, chairman, Microsoft 4Afrika Advisory Council, said: “The information and communications technology (ICT) field is not only redefining how we conduct our major businesses on the continent, it is increasingly improving the efficiency of critical support services, such as education, health, and disaster mitigation and management.”
“The young demographic is playing a big role in integrating new solutions to these services, and this has helped create new industries and employment opportunities.”
Meet the members
Akaliza Keza Gara (Rwanda).An entrepreneur and founder of multimedia company Shaking Sun, Gara is a mentor at open technology hub kLab in Kigali and a member of Girls in ICT Rwanda.
Chude Jideonwo (Nigeria).An award-winning journalist, media entrepreneur and youth development expert, Jideonwo is co-founder and managing partner of RED, an innovative media company that owns the Future Awards Africa, the continent’s premier youth event.
Tayeb Sbihi (Morocco).A Moroccan entrepreneur, Sbihi has a bachelor of science, a master of science and an MBA, and he has 10 years of professional experience in multinational companies specializing in new technologies.
Olivia Mukam (Cameroon).A social activist and entrepreneur, Mukam was a student when she helped solve the problem of waterborne diseases in West Cameroon by giving 5,000 villagers access to clean water. She then founded the NGO Harambe to engage Cameroonian youth to be national problem solvers.
The youth members were selected from a pool of notable candidates from existing African youth leadership groups, including U.S. President Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative, the African Leadership Network, the African Leadership Initiative, the Desmond Tutu Leadership Fellowship Program and the World Economic Forum’s Forum of Young Global Leaders.
The council will meet in person twice annually and will also hold regionally focused meetings throughout the year.
The Microsoft 4Afrika Initiative is designed to help Africa improve its global competitiveness and, in just under a year, has successfully launched programs across the continent.
Those programs will help the initiative reach its 2016 goal of placing tens of millions of smart devices in the hands of African youth, bring one million African small and medium-sized enterprises online, upskill 100,000 members of Africa’s workforce, and help 100,000 recent graduates develop skills for employability. As well, Microsoft will help place 75 percent of those graduates in jobs.
Microsoft is also committed to empowering youth across Africa through the 4Afrika Youth Program. Its promise is to provide millions of educated and empowered African youth with relevant skills, jobs, devices and services so they can obtain internships, scholarships and more.
More information on 4Afrika’s work with Africa’s youth can be found at http://www.youth4afrika.com.
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