Microsoft to invest $475 million in African software development companies

Microsoft, one of the worlds most known and respected companies is planning on invest in 10 black-owned software development companies throughout South Africa.
Microsoft Corp.’s South African unit will invest R475 million in up to 10 black-owned software development companies as part of its agreement with the government to increase the country’s black majority.Managing Director of the unit, Mteto Nyati, said “We will support these companies over a period of seven years. Our consultants will work with them to put together a package and a business plan.“We will fund whatever is relevant for that particular company to meet its own stated objectives of growth,” he added. This is a big step for the technology giant as it has a global policy of not selling stakes in its units. Since the end of apartheid 17 years ago, the South African government has heavily encouraged companies to sell stakes to black investors to address racial imbalances in the country. As part of Microsoft’s broad-based black economic empowerment (BBBEE) programme, the company was granted permission to put in place alternative empowerment plans. As a result, Microsoft agreed to invest the equivalent of 4 percent of its sales in black-owned enterprises over seven years. Bill Gates’ organisation, which introduced the Windows operating system to the world, will sign deals with four software developers later today – Chillisoft, a developer of software used in the healthcare and manufacturing industries; BUI, a computer-security company; Home Grown Business Integrations, which develops electricity management systems and Maxxor, a producer of mobile phone and web-based applications.
Positive development for the African software development community.  Software development is an extremely important feature which helps a business to work finely with minimum energy. The various business processes in modern times require software development in the best of form. It is software development which allows you to automate your business and increase your efficiency and productivity with less labor. There are a wide range of other benefits which a business process can enjoy with software development in proper place.
Resource requirements for your business are significantly reduced with the help of software development which in turn reduces the cost of running your business. Software development also helps in running your business at the full throttle. It permits you to improve your performance, thereby maximizing your profits. It also works in differentiating your business from your competitors and providing it with greater value.
Although this is a move to counter Google’s expanding plans in Africa, the winners are clearly not just the South African software development community but software developers throughout Africa.
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