IMAGINEMicrosoft Middle East and Africa yesterday announced that it will be partnering with Nokia for the Imagine Cup local finals across countries in the region. Microsoft’s Imagine Cup is a student technology competition, bringing together young innovators from all over the world. As part of the sponsorship, Nokia will be the exclusive mobile manufacturing partner for the final events and will be rewarding more than 80 local winners with state-of-the-art Nokia Lumia 920 Windows Phone handsets.

Amintas Neto, Academia & Start-up Lead at Microsoft Middle East & Africa, said “Both Microsoft and Nokia are passionate about cultivating a spirit of social and technological entrepreneurship among students and the Imagine Cup competition provides a fantastic vehicle for them to turn their creative ideas into reality. By partnering with Nokia for Imagine Cup in the Middle East and Africa, we are providing an opportunity for young people to develop on the broadest, most cutting-edge technology platforms.

Improving access to these technologies and supporting young people to realize their potential is a huge priority given the wider economic challenges in the region. Recent successes by local teams from the Middle East and Africa suggest that there is a great deal of talent and innovation in the region; no doubt this dynamism will be reflected in the local finals.” Amintas Neto, Academia & Start-up Lead at Microsoft Middle East & Africa, said.

Head of Developer Experience, Nokia IMEA Joe Devassy, said, “Nokia’s partnership with Microsoft for the Imagine Cup is part of an on-going drive to support young entrepreneurial talent across Middle East and Africa. With the large youth population in the region, it is especially important to assist them in building skills that will help them succeed today and advance their careers post-graduation.

New technologies are rapidly changing businesses and the lives of consumers in these regions and the speed of adoption is inspiring. Equipping young people with technology will truly put the future of their nations in their hands. The Middle East and Africa Imagine Cup local finals involves over 20 countries across the region, with students taking part from Kenya, South Africa, Algeria, Angola, Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Palestinian Authorities, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates and West & Central Africa. The finalists from the Middle East and Africa local finals will progress through to the worldwide final, taking place in St Petersburg, Russia, in July 2013.

Credit: CIO