Microsoft increases CSR commitment

Microsoft has launched its latest corporate citizen programme in a bid to improve computer literacy across the Gulf.

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By  Claire Ferris-Lay Published  October 21, 2007

Microsoft has launched its latest corporate citizen programme in a bid to improve computer literacy across the Gulf.

The Microsoft Digital Literacy Curriculum, available in English and Arabic, will offer a range of courses covering the basics in information technology such as the internet, productivity programmes, computer security and privacy and digital lifestyles.

"In the last 20 years information technology has changed the world; the way we connect, the way we learn and the way we think about almost everything, however only 15% of the world is benefiting from it. Lack of infrastructure and digital illiteracy are the biggest reasons why 85% of the world is not a part of this technology drive," Ali Faramawy, VP, Microsoft International told Arabian Business.

"The idea of the programme is to increase the opportunity of people who have little or no knowledge about information technology and to be apart of this global digital age. It covers some of the basics of using the computers and the internet and is complimentary to other efforts we have in general such as in schools, universities and communities at large," Faramawy continued.

So far this year the computer giant has spent approximately US$820,000 on 12 other citizen initiatives across the Gulf. "Our commitment to empowering and enabling people in the Gulf has always been paramount in our plans in the region. The launch of Microsoft Digital Literacy, however, gives us the ability to reach and affect the lives of every single person in the Gulf, taking our contribution to a new level," added Dr Zaki Khoury, Gulf Citizenship Lead, Microsoft.

The new course - which is free of charge - is available online or on a CD to anyone within Microsoft programmes and initiatives.

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