Every now and then a story comes along which warms your heart (and lets face it, it's cold out there at the moment) - and the 4Afrika initiative by Microsoft is one of them. It's something we simply had to share with our Government audience. Besides, it's a great example of how tech innovation can help change lives - not just help create the latest cool devices.

4Afrika is a multi-year initiative that represents Microsoft's increased commitment to Africa as we celebrate 20 years of doing business on the continent. As we look forward to our next 20 years, we wanted to explore new ways to link the growth of our business with initiatives that accelerate growth for the continent. To do this, Microsoft is focusing on three critical areas – World-class skills, Access and Innovation.

The goal is to empower every African who has a great idea for a business or an application and to turn that idea into a reality which in turn can help their community, their country, or even the continent at large. The Microsoft 4Afrika Initiative is built on the dual beliefs that technology can accelerate growth for Africa, and Africa can also accelerate technology for the world.

'Mawingu'

A perfect example of how innovation (and sheer hard work) is transforming lives is the Mawingu project in Kenya. 'Mawingu' means cloud in Kiswahili (part of the Swahili language). To improve technology access, Microsoft has announced the deployment of the pilot project with the Kenyan Ministry of Information and Communications and Kenyan Internet Service Provider, Indigo Telecom Ltd., to deliver low-cost, high-speed wireless broadband and create new opportunities for commerce, education, healthcare, and delivery of government services across Kenya. It is the first deployment of solar-powered based stations together with TV white spaces, a technology partially developed by Microsoft Research, to deliver high-speed internet access to areas currently lacking even basic electricity.

We even have a video about it!...

Download this video

To find out more about the Mawingu project and everything else taking place with 4Afrika, please take a look at the website.

Posted by Howard
Content and Communities Manager, Microsoft UK Government Team