Accelerating sustainable development
In July 2006, on the occasion of the first Microsoft Government Leaders Forum Africa in Cape Town, South Africa, UNIDO and Microsoft signed a strategic partnership, pooling expertise to support SMEs and foster greater innovation and competitiveness. This highly dynamic partnership recognizes the importance of harnessing the use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) to promote sustainable industrialisation as a means of improving livelihoods in developing countries, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa.
Main focus of the partnership:
- Promote the development and growth of SMEs through the use of ICT
- Foster the development of local software solutions
- Promote innovative e-business and e-government initiatives
- Assist governments with the development of national ICT strategies
Areas of ongoing cooperation include:
- UNIDO Business Information Centre (BIC) Network
- Entrepreneurship Curriculum Programme
- Electronic Waste Initiative
- Local Software initiative
- African Investment Promotion Agency Network
Example of successful corporation: The AfrIPAnet Investment Monitoring Platform
UNIDO and Microsoft win Africa Investor Award 2007
On 7 November 2007, UNIDO and Microsoft won the Africa Investor Award 2007 in the category “Best Initiative in Support of SME Development” for the Uganda Business Information Centre project. The African Investor Award, an international benchmark for excellence in responsible investing in Africa, recognizes and rewards innovative development projects initiated by the private sector, governments and NGOs.