Microsoft in strategic alliance with Tunisian startup

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Microsoft, through its 4Afrika initiative, has signed a strategic alliance with Tunisian startup Saphon Energy, which specialises in the research and development of wind energy.

The collaboration with Microsoft will provide Saphon Energy with financial resources, tech support and visibility to assist the rollout of the “Saphonian”, patented technology that converts wind energy into electricity.

The bladeless and rotation-less technology can also be used to pump water and spread connectivity, and has already won a number of international prizes, such as Best Idea at the Sustainable Entrepreneurship 2013 Awards and an Innovation Prize for Africa in 2013.

“The Saphonian has the potential to contribute to transforming the African economic landscape and triggering deep social progress across the continent,” said Anis Aouini, founder of Saphon Energy. “By improving connectivity and electricity availability, the technology will support entrepreneurship and improve employability.”

The company is also developing “Maraya”, a solution that enables the collection and monitoring of data leveraging the benefits of Microsoft Azure Machine Learning services.

Samir Benmakhlouf, managing director of Microsoft Morocco, said North Africa was an important region for the company.

“We see tremendous potential for technology in the region to transform the lives of people, increase business aptitude and bring positive change across society,” said Benmakhlouf. “Microsoft 4Afrika’s support of Saphon Energy is a perfect illustration of our commitment to promote new ideas born in Africa with the potential to change the world.”

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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