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Huawei-Ascend-W1-red-web1According the BBC News website, Microsoft has partner with Chines telecom giant Huawei to release a smarth phone specifically for the African market.  This launch is part of an initiative known as 4Afrika. –A new effort through which Microsoft will actively engage in Africa’s economic development to improve its global competitiveness.

BBC reports that the phone will be initially be availibe in Egypt, Nigeria, Kenya, Ivory Coast, Angola, Morocco and South Africa.

The phone will be connected to a customised app store including applications designed and built by Africans.

“Affordability is important but without the right local content we believe a lot of users will not see the benefit in the change from a basic feature phone to a smartphone,” said Mr Fuchs.

He said the objective of the scheme was to increase the penetration of smartphones across the continent.

“If you look at current penetration compared with the US or Europe, which is around 50%, in Africa the average is very close to 10%, less in some parts.”

The handset is a customised version of the Huawei Ascend W1 which was displayed at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas last month.

It has a 4in (10cm) touch screen and 5 megapixel camera. The phone can be on stand-by for up to 420 hours between charges.

“The 4Afrika Initiative should make tens of millions of smart devices available across the continent in the next couple of years,” Mr Fuchs said.