Microsoft is gearing up to invest $1 billion to build three data centers for its first cloud region in Greece as well as provide digital technology training to up to 100,000 people in Greece by 2025.
Several reports say that the recently announced plans are part of Microsoft’s “GR for Growth” digital transformation initiative to foster Greece’s growth with technology and resources.
Making the announcement in Athens, Microsoft president, Brad Smith, said, “By a substantial margin, this is the largest investment Microsoft has made in Greece in the 28 years we have been operating here.”
The announcement is the culmination of nine months of negotiations betwenn Microsoft and Greece, according to an Associated Press report. Many believe that this news is a boost to the European country, after it emerged from a tough decade-long government debt crisis that included austerity measures and international bailouts only to see its economy hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic and have its unemployment rate climb to 18.3 percent in June.
The incoming data center region in Greece will bring Microsoft’s known cloud regions to 63 covering 140-plus countries.
The 100,000 beneficiaries of Microsoft's digital technology training as many will include public sector employees, business and IT professionals, educators and students, in a bid to foster digital transformation in both the public and private organizations.
The training program which incorporates both online and physical courses and workshops will include the upskilling of Microsoft’s customer and partner ecosystems; trainings designed for Greek civil servants covering public sector modernization and digitization needs; and the expansion of Microsoft’s existing programs with ReGeneration, a non-profit organization focused on social innovation to empower youth, unemployed and underserved communities. Finally, Microsoft plans to leverage its LinkedIn Learning, MS Learn and GitHub training programs in the course of its digital technology training efforts in Greece.
Greece In Focus
Population: 10.7 million (Compared to South Africa's 59.6 million)
GDP: $222.785 billion (Compared to South Africa's $369.85 billion)
GDP Per Capita: $31, 616 (Compared to South Africa's $6,193)
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