Sustainable development or bust — Microsoft

    If you’re not focused on being sustainable, we don’t want to work with you.

    That’s what Paul Garnett, global director of partners in learning at Microsoft, wants to make clear to potential partners looking to join the software giant’s efforts to expand wireless Internet access through PPPs with local providers across Africa.

    “What we’re focused on right now [is] coming up with sustainable business models that can work in emerging markets. We don’t want to partner with anyone that doesn’t have that in mind,” he said in an interview with Devex Editor Rolf Rosenkranz at the European Development Days in Brussels.

    Garnett explained that “this is not really about charity, or giving people money to deploy something that may fall apart after we leave,” but rather creating “something that can be sustainable [in] the long-run so that when we’re not involved … it can continue to run and operate.”

    Traditional donors and multilateral institutions such as the World Bank are fully aware of this and equally focused on sustainable development, he added.

    Click on the above video for more of Garnett’s insights on Microsoft’s plans for expanding Internet access across the developing world to build the necessary connectivity so users there can fully access services delivered by the software giant’s devices.

    Devex was at the European Development Days 2013. Check out our coverage of Europe’s leading global development event of the year.

    About the author

    • Carlos Santamaria

      Carlos is a former associate editor for breaking news in Devex's Manila-based news team. He joined Devex after a decade working for international wire services Reuters, AP, Xinhua, EFE ,and Philippine social news network Rappler in Madrid, Beijing, Manila, New York, and Bangkok. During that time, he also covered natural disasters on the ground in Myanmar and Japan.

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