CAPE VERDE & MICROSOFT
On Friday, January 4, the Cape Verdean government signed a strategic partnership agreement with Microsoft, aimed essentially at supporting Cape Verde’s electronic governance technological center. The document was signed by cabinet spokeswoman and Minister of Defense and State Reform Cristina Fontes, and by the president of Microsoft Africa, Cheikh Diarra.
Fontes affirmed that the accord “establishes a renewable three-year general framework of partnership.” “The creation of an innovation center for electronic governance, which is aimed at improving research and development capacities,” is the main objective of the partnership.
According to Fontes, Microsoft will also sign an accord with the University of Cape Verde for the training of specialized professionals. “Support for the private sector and for education, with acceptably priced technological access programs aimed at fostering digital literacy” are among the other items included in the accord.
There is no budget stipulated for the partnership, as Microsoft’s support will be divided into various sub-projects, but the software multinational’s licensing and specialized technical service conditions are guaranteed, according to Jorge Lopes, the coordinator of Cape Verde’s Operational Information Society Nucleus (NOSI), who discussed the issue with Diarra.
During the press conference that followed his meeting with Cristina Fontes, Cheikh Diarra said he was “amazed” by NOSI’s system for the Casa do Cidadão, a portal aimed at concentrating access to public services for Cape Verdean citizens. He also said that a country’s importance is not necessarily a factor of its size, but rather of its “innovation and creativity” and the “solutions that are presented for concrete problems.”
This is the first trip to Cape Verde by Diarra, who was involved in the launch of the Mars observer mission by NASA. He was elected one of the most important Africans of the 21st Century by the magazine Jeune Afrique, and is a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador. In 2005, he was named president of Microsoft for Africa.
View Country Summary