Microsoft has appointed a new country manager in Nigeria, a federal republic comprising of over 168.8 million in population. Kabelo Makwane, a South African tech expert and long time Microsoft employee, will now be the country manager and lead Microsoft’s global shift to a devices and services company in Nigeria.
“I am extremely excited to be appointed to lead the Nigerian subsidiary during this dynamic time on the continent. Microsoft is focused on unlocking the economic opportunities of Africa and it’s a time when the company can have real economic impact in the country. I believe technology is an enabler at every level of society and am excited at being able to have an impact on this vibrant and unique country,” Makwane stated.
Makwane understands that the common technology trends, innovations, and products come from the West and East, but in order to unlock economic opportunities and create innovation, Africans need to find home grown solutions.
“While most technology trends, innovations and consumer products come from the West and the East, Africans are realizing that for us to solve the continent’s technology-related challenges, we have to find African solutions. ICT [information and communication technology] holds transformational opportunity for Nigeria. Innovation will help the country leap from the industrial revolution into the information era. It is the land of opportunity. There is no place like it,” Makwane added.
Makwane’s most noteworthy project has been the Microsoft Student Business Initiative, which sought to equip 3,000 unemployed youth with technology skills over a three year period. Microsoft has been operating in Nigeria for 13 years and has a local partner ecosystem of 1,750 members.