VENTURES AFRICA – World’s largest software vendor, Microsoft, at its just concluded Partners in Learning Global Forum, re-affirmed its commitment to education with a $250 million, five-year renewal of Partners in Learning (PiL).
The PIL forum which had in attendance representatives from 8 African countries – Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Mauritius, Nigeria, South Africa and Uganda – is committed to driving community growth, developing networks and allowing educators to share innovations and learn from each other.
“We see a significant opportunity to invest in the economy of tomorrow by working with educators today to teach 21st century skills,” said Laura Ipsen, Corporate Vice President, Microsoft Worldwide Public Sector. “Studies have proven the significant impact a good teacher has on a student’s ability to gain employment and increase their incomes, which has a real impact on poverty and economic growth. Our focus on PiL is the cornerstone of Microsoft’s commitment to empower youth, spark innovation in the classroom and improve learning outcomes globally.”
Validating Africa’s position in the programme, Lauren Woodman, Microsoft’s General Manager for Worldwide education and Government programs, said: “The opportunities in Africa are huge. With all the work we are doing in Africa, there are huge opportunities for technology to have a measurable impact, and some of the most innovative ideas we have seen have come from Africa.”
Microsoft’s total investment in the program cumulates to $750 million after fifteen years of continuous running. The US-based software giant aims to grow the PiL community to 20 million of the 75 million teachers worldwide by 2018 with the renewal and to continue preparing students for the changing global workforce.
Microsoft plans to expand PiL beyond the 119 countries that currently participate with a continued emphasis on driving community, developing networks and allowing educators to share innovations and learn from each other.
Founded in 1975 by former world’s richest man Bill Gates, Microsoft is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realise their full potential.