Microsoft 4 Africa has announced the appointment of four youth members to its advisory council to represent the youth demographic in the initiative headed by former Tanzanian president Benjamin Mkapa.
The four youth ambassadors are Rwanda's Akaliza Keza Gara, Nigeria'sChude Jideonwo, Morocco'sTayeb Sbihi and Cameroonian Olivia Mukam.
Akaliza is an entrepreneur and founder of multimedia company Shaking Sun, a mentor at open technology hub kLab in Kigali and a member of "Girls in ICT" Rwanda while Chude is an award-winning journalist, media entrepreneur and youth development expert and co-founder and managing partner of RED, an innovative media company that owns the Future Awards Africa.
Tayeb on the other hand has a bachelor of science, a master of science and an MBA, and has amassed 10 years of professional experience in multinational companies specializing in new technologies with a wide knowledge of the telecoms market and his first company, B2N Consulting, offers a wide range of telecom services and solutions to Morocco and Africa.
Finally, Mukam is a social activist and entrepreneur who has been involved in many social activities in Cameroon including provision of clean water, youth training as well as delivery of affordable solutions to small businesses in Cameroon, Nigeria, the UK and U.S.
The year-old Microsoft 4Afrika Advisory Council says the four represent the issues facing Africa's rural and urban youth, including unemployment, education and access to technology.
According to the vice chair of the council Mteto Nyati, the four will help the council create programmes that can harness the potential of the youth in the continent.
"Africa has a relatively young population. This can be either a curse or a blessing. The aim of our 4Afrika Initiative is to unleash the potential of Africa's youth. Our ambassadors will guide us as we strive to achieve this goal," he said. The youth members were selected from a pool of notable candidates from existing African youth leadership groups, including US President Obama's Young African Leaders Initiative, the African Leadership Network, the African Leadership Initiative, the Desmond Tutu Leadership Fellowship Program and the World Economic Forum's Forum of Young Global Leaders. Tayeb Sbihi of Morocco says the representatives who come from different backgrounds will help enrich and compliment the knowledge available at the council. "I'm very excited to be joining the council as a youth leader. I look forward to meeting the rest of the members and exchanging ideas. We all come from different fields and countries, which helps create richness. Our skills complement each other, and we bring different insights, be it technological, political, environmental or social. We represent a good mix, and we'll work together to do something good." The council will meet in person twice annually and will also hold regionally focused meetings throughout the year.
Microsoft appoints 4Afrika Advisory Council
Microsoft introduces the 4Afrika scholarship program
Connecting the unconnected: Why we are all 4Afrika
4Afrika Initiative, Microsoft investment in Africa