Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has announced after a meeting with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto that the tech company will invest $1 billion in digital education and inclusion in the country.
The investment, which will be carried out over the next 3 years, will provide the infrastructure necessary for creating the new generation of software designers and IT scientists and will support and strengthen the country’s current IT workforce. A Microsoft statement said:
“At the meeting, they talked about the evolution and strengthening of Microsoft’s presence in Mexico over two decades, and also about the future of telecommunications”.
Mr. Nadella expressed his support and confidence that the technical and economic reforms proposed by the Nieto government will be materialized. Nieto thanked Microsoft for its contribution to improve digital education in his country.
After their meeting, Nadella and Nieto met the Microsoft scholarship winners from the Mexican Youth Institute. Among them was Alejantro Cantu, a young entrepreneur and founder of SkyAlert, an earthquake detection company which through the help of Microsoft has become a thriving local company with plans for expansion in the US.
Microsoft offers cloud and security services to SkyAlert, a company that started with four employees four years ago and now counts 75 staff. Alejandro Cantu said:
“Mexicans can now know how strong a quake was as soon as the alarm goes off, when previously it was just a warning. Microsoft provides the technology platform we use to reach millions of Mexicans; it provides us the security and use of the cloud. It’s helped us not just in the development area but with a program to support entrepreneurs.”
With Microsoft’s support and guidance, the fledgling SkyAlert is now expanding to other countries with California as the first stop in the United States.
SkyAlert’s success story is proof that Mexicans can succeed in the tech industry despite a delayed entrance. Guidance, investment and training are enough to bring new, useful ideas to the public through IT advancement and growth.
Larry Darrell of BidnessAsset says that even if the partnership is primarily political, the project will benefit Mexico in a number of ways, especially considering:
“… the recent influx of Asian dominance in the tech industry, and the apparent lack of renowned Latinos in the tech industry.”
Nieto has faced nearly-constant criticism over his administration’s proposed education reforms, with massive protests in several parts of Mexico conducted by teachers, school staff and their supporters. The Nieto administration has focused on identifying low performers within the teaching profession, including the proposed introduction of competency exams and measures to reduce corruption and nepotism.