The software giant, Microsoft, has announced the appointment of Kabelo Makwane as the company’s new country manager for Nigeria.
As country manager, Makwane hopes, among many things, will address the challenge of local innovation.
With this development, the seasoned technology professional and long-standing member of the Microsoft family, South African born Makwane will lead the company’s global shift to a devices and services offering in one of the most dynamic, innovative and fast growing countries on the continent.
“I am extremely excited to be appointed to lead the Nigerian subsidiary during this dynamic time on the continent,” Makwane said, adding that , “Microsoft is focused on unlocking the economic opportunities of Africa and it’s a time when the company can have real economic impact in the country.
I believe technology is an enabler at every level of society and am excited at being able to have an impact on this vibrant and unique country.”
“While most technology trends, innovations and consumer products come from the West and the East, Africans are realizing that for us to solve the continent’s technology-related challenges, we have to find African solutions.
“ICT holds transformational opportunity for Nigeria. Innovation will help the country leap from the industrial revolution into the information era. It is the land of opportunity. There is no place like it.”, he said.
According to him, “The renewed emphasis by the Nigerian government on the ICT sector holds considerable promise for what technology can bring to consumers and businesses. It gives us an opportunity to use our technology, talent, time and money to help create sustainable growth in the country and across the African continent.”
“I’m excited to be spearheading this continued investment in Nigeria, and certainly look forward to working with government, industry, academia and the general public to enable Nigeria to realize its potential through innovation. I look forward to unearthing the economic opportunities, especially with small businesses to drive job creation, and to foster meaningful 21st century skills in our youth.”he explained.
Prior to his role as country manager, Makwane served as Public Sector Director in the Microsoft South Africa subsidiary.
Here, he led the business to double digit growth and built an accomplished team, which continues to deliver high growth levels.
Reacting to the new development, Hennie Loubser, general manager of West, East, Central Africa and Indian Ocean Islands said that , “I applaud Kabelo on this exciting new role. He has a close relationship with the team and has been following the market closely, establishing strong connections in the region. His passion and natural understanding of our business makes him the ideal candidate for this role.”
As a multinational organization, Microsoft believes in hiring individuals that can bring global and external expertise into different regions, whilst at the same time gaining new experiences.
“It’s worth noting that Nigerian national and ex-Microsoft Nigeria employee, Kunle Awosika, is now the country for Microsoft Kenya – another example of our diversity and bringing external expertise to strategic and critical roles,” Loubser explained, adding that, .“This way, knowledge can be shared and integrated across different markets – ensuring that different regions benefit, learn and gain insights from each other. Kabelo’s extensive Microsoft experience is definitely going to complement the local knowledge base and bring something beneficial to the ICT industry in Nigeria.”
With Gross Domestic Product growth rates sustained at over 6%, Nigeria has shown continual expansion, including diversification within the oil sector and considerable infrastructure investment in the Information &Communication Technology (ICT) sector.
Microsoft firmly embraces this tremendous economic and social progression, with Makwane at the helm.
It would be recalled that Microsoft has been operating in Nigeria for 13 years and currently has a local partner ecosystem of 1,750 members. In addition, through its partner ecosystem it has created 45 000 jobs, supported 300 start-ups, reached three million students through the Partners in Learning programme, and seen 65 000 downloads of free DreamSpark developer tools.
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