Microsoft through its 4Afrika initiative is partnering with Skrill to launch a platform that would allow Africans to purchase products from lobal internet brands; they would also be able to access Microsoft products and educational contents.
When the platform goes live next month, users will be able to buy products from Skrill’s extensive global network including iROKO TV and Spinlet; they can also enjoy special product offers and discounts on goods and services exclusively available on the platform.
Nilesh Pandya, Senior Vice President of emerging markets at Skrill, said “Africa is urbanising faster than any other continent, with cities enjoying strong levels of wireless and data coverage. It has the world’s most youthful populations and we know that it is the younger generations that are often first to embrace technology. Disposable incomes are rapidly increasing, making discretionary spend on e-commerce an immediate reality.
“These conditions deliver the perfect storm for a massive surge in consumer demand for digital payments. “However, a high percentage of Africans remain unbanked and so have no means of paying for global online brands. Even banked Africans often find that global online merchants are reluctant to serve these markets for credit and debit card transactions due to perceived fraud risks.”
Microsoft will be providing 15G free online storage to the platform’s users on its One Drive; they would also enjoy Outlook email addresses so they can register accounts with the relevant merchants.
Frank McCosker, general manager, Affordable Access and Smart Financing, Microsoft 4Afrika, added: “As part of 4Afrika’s effort towards affordable access, this portal seeks to bring Africa’s offline economies online, enabling the continent to take part in the global digital revolution, which in turn, will drive innovation, inclusion, skills and trade.”