Microsoft has just kicked off the new 4Afrika Initiative, which is meant to bring a series of smartphones custom-developed for the continent.
The first device that is being launched as part of Microsoft’s initiative is called Huawei 4Afrika and it will be available later this month in seven African countries: Angola, Egypt, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, and South Africa.
Powered by Windows Phone 8, the smartphone has been specially designed for emerging markets. The phone is aimed at students, small businesses, devs and first-time smartphone users.
Thus, Microsoft has confirmed that Huawei 4Afrika comes preloaded with custom apps created by African devs for users on the continent.
In addition, the smartphone provides access to a market-specific store within the larger Windows Phone Store for downloading related apps and content.
Hardware-wise, Huawei 4Afrika has the same features as the Ascend W1, which was launched on the market last month.
The smartphone packs a 1.2 GHz dual-core Qualcomm MSM8230 Snapdragon processor, accompanied by an Adreno 305 graphics processing unit and 512MB of RAM.
On the inside, the phone embeds only 4GB of internal memory, but it also comes with microSD card slot for memory expansion (up to 32GB).
It is also worth mentioning that 7GB free cloud storage is also provided via SkyDrive. On the back, Huawei 4Afrika packs a 5-megapixel photo snapper with autofocus, LED flash and HD (720p) video recording, while on the front there’s a secondary VGA camera for video calls.
According to Microsoft, this won’t be the only Windows Phone device launched in Africa. The Redmond-based company plans to release the Lumia 510 and 620 as well, so stay tuned for more updates on the matter.
“We believe there has never been a better time to invest in Africa and that access to technology—particularly cloud services and smart devices—can and will serve as a great accelerator for African competitiveness,” said Jean-Philippe Courtois, president of Microsoft International.