Microsoft has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Zimbabwe’s Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education that will see the technology company commit to assisting Zimbabwe’s education ministry in creating modern classrooms that drive innovation, performance and growth. The announcement was made on the side-lines of the 8th annual Innovation Africa, which kicked off yesterday.
Speaking at signing ceremony which was held at Avondale Primary School, Harare, Microsoft EMEA Regional Business Leader, Mark East highlighted the commitment by the company to digital transformation sector, underscored by various initiatives and partnerships established within Africa and beyond.
Said East, “For Africa to gain a prominent place in the 21st century global economy, the core ingredients to its digital education transformation recipe must include connectivity, digital literacy, and the ability to code. Similarly, if we are to truly invest in the human capital of the future, we must prioritise the importance of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) learning for all students. We are glad to be entering this into this vital partnership which will see the education system in Zimbabwe transform rapidly”
As part of the MOU, Microsoft will assist the Zimbabwean Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education in identifying the ideal device for specific digital education strategies. Microsoft will also assist the Ministry in building partnerships with international Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) and provide consultancy services in building a local assembly strategy. Microsoft will further seek additional avenues of increasing internet connectivity in rural areas, and teacher development initiatives to equip future generations.
The event was attended by Zimbabwean Minister of Primary and Secondary Education, Honourable Paul Mavima, who is looking to further Zimbabwean President, His Excellency Emmerson Mnangagwa’s commitment to innovation and transformation in the country’s education sector.
At Microsoft, we are committed to empowering the next generation of Africans by building skills that focus on STEM as well as collaboration, communication, creativity, critical thinking and co-operation. We do this by providing access to technology and giving young people tools to support their learning.
For example, Microsoft’s various YouthSpark programmes have upskilled over 2.6 million underserved youth in Africa, and our various education initiatives have achieved significant impact by empowering and upskilling over 150,000 teachers and impacting five million students in Africa over the past three years.
In anticipation of Computer Science Education Week celebrated around the world from 3-9 December, Microsoft has also announced the new Minecraft Hour of Code tutorial, Voyage Aquatic, where students can use their creativity and problem solving skills to explore and build underwater worlds with code.
Microsoft remains committed to transforming Africa’s education using the power of technology. Our education programmes across the region will continue to provide access to technology, content and training. We will remain focused on empowering educators to digitally transform classrooms and reimagine learning in order to build the skills necessary for the future workforce in Africa.
“We believe that technology should be an equalising force in the world—inclusive, not divisive. That’s why we are continuing to invest in our greatest assets—our technology, grants, people, and voice to advance a more equitable world where the benefits of technology are accessible to everyone,” said East.