The Signing Of The MoU With Microsoft Will Affect 5 Million Nigerians

Microsoft representative (L) and Mr Pantami signing the Mou (Photo credit @PofIsaPantamiTwitter)
President Buhari receives a presentation from President and Executive Vice Chairman of Microsoft Corporation Brad Smith (photo credit: Channels TV)
President Buhari receives a presentation from President and Executive Vice Chairman of Microsoft Corporation Brad Smith (photo credit: Channels TV)

During a meeting with the Nigerian President on 1 April 2022 in State House, Microsoft President Brad Smith disclosed that 300,000 Nigerians had completed some courses offered by Microsoft while another 60,000 were enrolled in various courses.

Smith also disclosed that Microsoft will train no fewer than 5 million Nigerians in the next three years. This was part of the tech giant’s effort to boost the country’s digital literacy and technology. Three weeks before the visit, Microsoft launched a $200-million African Development Center in Lagos.

At that time, President Buhari commended the tech giant, emphasizing that more investment in digital technology and initiative was welcomed in the country. On Wednesday 12 October 2022, the Nigerian Minister of Communication and Digital Technology, Isa Pantami, revealed that Nigeria has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Microsoft.

Mr Pantami and Microsoft representative displays the signed document (Photo credit: @PofIsaPantamiTwitter)
Mr Pantami and Microsoft representative displays the signed document (Photo credit: @PofIsaPantamiTwitter)

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The signing of the MoU creates a legal framework that solidifies the prior verbal commitment by the Microsoft president. The MoU was signed on the sidelines of the GITEX Global 2022 held at the Dubai World Trade Center.

Microsoft as a partner in driving Nigeria’s digital economy

Microsoft representative (L) and Mr Pantami signing the Mou (Photo credit: @PofIsaPantamiTwitter)
Microsoft representative (L) and Mr Pantami signing the Mou (Photo credit: @PofIsaPantamiTwitter)

Many Nigerians are ill-prepared for the brick-and-mortar education system for the digital economy. This is partly the reason for the rising unemployment rate among the young population. Therefore, increasing digital literacy is one of the Nigerian government’s strategies to curb unemployment.

Speaking on behalf of Microsoft, Olatomiwa Williams and Dean Yusuf mentioned that the journey had stretched on. However, they were satisfied that it has come to a fulfilling end with the signing of the MoU. Breaking the news on his official Twitter handle, Mr. Pantami noted that the free training was part of Microsoft’s corporate social responsibility.

Earlier in 2022, the Nigerian minister emphasized that the ministry will give priority to digital literacy and skill acquisition to curb unemployment in Nigeria. The minister further emphasized the skill gap between what Nigerians learn in schools and what is required in industries.

Consequently, the minister plans to roll out capacity-building programs to endow the teeming youths with skills needed to flourish in the digital ecosystem. Also, the minister met with Oracle to explore ways to deepen the relationship for Nigeria’s digital transformation.

What does GITEX Global stand for?

Mr Pantami touring the Huawei pavilion at the GITEX Global event (Photo credit: @PofIsaPantamiTwitter)
Mr Pantami touring the Huawei pavilion at the GITEX Global event (Photo credit: @PofIsaPantamiTwitter)

The word GITEX is an acronym for Gulf Information Technology Exhibition. The exhibition was launched in 1981 as GITE. At that time, only the Hall One of the Dubai World Trade Center was used. However, in 1988, it was rebranded as GITEX following the launch of the MacWorld.

The exhibition has grown to occupy the entire Dubai World Trade Center complex and additional halls are being added to the complex. GITEX Global exhibitions now cover over two million feet of exhibition space. The suffix β€˜Global’ was added in 2022 to capture the event’s international reach.

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The annual event has become the largest tech show in the world. GITEX Global 2022 is the 42nd edition and will run from 10 to 14 October 2022. The 2022 edition is the largest so far with over 5,000 registered exhibitors from over 170 countries.

Mr. Pantami seized the opportunity provided by the GITEX Global event to meet with other companies and corporations for possible partnerships with Nigeria. The minister toured the Huawei pavilion to learn about some of their technologies.

The minister also met with the leaders of the Dubai World Trade Center to explore possible collaborations with both countries. Such collaborations will not only benefit Nigeria considering the fact that the West African nation has one of the largest digital economies on the continent.

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