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Microsoft moves into Zambia

By Edith Mwale, Lusaka, Zambia

Microsoft Corporation intends to open an office in Zambia, a move that is expected to help reduce the cost of computer software in the country.

Microsoft vice president Ali Faramawy who is visiting Zambia, said having representation in Zambia would help to significantly reduce the costs of computer software, which is currently purchased mainly from South Africa and Kenya.

Faramawy said the company is also considering setting up an information and communication technology (ICT) laboratory at the University of Zambia to enable students to develop a proactive approach in researching and accessing information.

Faramawy said there was need for collective efforts among youths to develop the country because they make up the larger part of the population.

He said youths and the use of technology were playing a critical role in bringing about positive change in modern day society.

Faramawy said the classic negative outlook on Africa and most individual countries on the continent had transformed - the continent is now seen as a place of opportunities and rewards. He said Africans are now poised to overcome the continent’s challenges.

 “Africa is experiencing positive revolutions because of youths and technology. The world has had a negative classic perception about Africa but that has now changed because Africa is considered as a land of opportunity where many are also being rewarded,” Faramawy said.

And Microsoft Corporation says Zambian President Michael Sata’s administration has set out objectives and well articulated priorities that are set to further develop Zambia.
Microsoft Corporation general manager for Eastern and Southern Africa Louis Otieno said Zambia is also poised to attract more multinational companies because of political stability and the economic growth the country has continued to register.
Otieno however, urged the Zambia government to put up stringent measures against piracy as it is detrimental to revenue generation and can discourage foreign direct investment.

And the Zambian Deputy Minister of Education, Science, Technology and Vocational Training David Mabumba has called on Microsoft to help address some ICT challenges at UNZA.

Mabumba said ICT remained a key factor in the education sector and commended the corporation for its intentions to help the country’s highest learning institution with ICT tools.

Mabumba said the Zambian government plans to significantly invest in the education sector.

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