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AfDB and Microsoft sign Memorandum of Understanding: Partnership will focus on increasing access to ICT


Tunis, Tunisia — July 8, 2008 — The African Development Bank (AfDB) and Microsoft today signed today an agreement to work together to increase access to Information and Communication Technology (ICT) for all Africans.

The objective of this new partnership is to bridge the digital divide that exists in Africa in two particular areas - between Africa’s different regions and countries, and between Africa’s main urban centres and its rural areas.

The signing was presided over by the Vice-President of the AfDB, Mr. Joseph Eichenberger and the Chairman for Microsoft in Africa, Dr. Cheick Modibo Diarra at the temporary headquarters of the AfDB in Tunis.

Commenting on the partnership, Mr. Eichenberger said "This partnership intends to blend knowledge and best practice from both parties. When combined further with forward looking public policy from the governments of Africa, we are confident it will inject increased momentum to meeting developmental goals."

Cooperation between the two parties will focus on the use of technology to advance e-Government; ICT institutional capacity building; business capacity building; education and e-learning; ICT skills development, and the enhancement of technology access.

The global development community, composed of governments, international organizations, development banks and NGOs, is increasingly calling upon private sector expertise and resources to accelerate development on the African continent.

The AfDB is at the forefront of this development and places public-private partnership at the core of its overall strategy which includes combating poverty and improving living conditions across the African continent.

"Our joint goal is to identify where ICT can be applied in innovative ways to support development goals – extending the scale and impact of solutions to transform education, drive local innovation, and foster jobs and opportunities,"said Dr. Diarra.

"Microsoft is proud to partner with the African Development Bank, as well as African governments, UN agencies, and other international organizations to share our core technology resources, solutions, and know-how to help them meet the greatest challenges of today."

About the African Development Bank 

The African Development Bank is Africa’s premier development finance institution dedicated to combating poverty and improving the lives of people of the continent and engaged in the task of mobilizing resources for the economic and social development of its Regional Member Countries. The Bank Group’s primary objective is to promote sustainable growth to reduce poverty by financing projects and programmes in the RMCs through loans, equity investments and technical assistance.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT") is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realise their full potential.


Yvan CLICHE, Media Officer, External Relations and Communication Unit for the African Development Bank
Tel: +216 71 10 23 87, Email:

Lee-Anne Poon, Tribeca Public Relations for Microsoft
Phone: +27 11 208 5500, Cell: +27 82 818 4041, Email: