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Nigeria has received especially extensive support and sponsorship from:

Zinox Technologies Limited

Zinox Technologies Limited has announced a new scheme, known as Z-scop, that would make 100,000 laptops and desktop computers with the latest software available for purchase by students from primarily schools to university level, at concessionary prices. The chairman of Zinox Technologies, Chief Leo Stan Ekeh, attributed the feasibility of the project to a special agreement with Intel and Microsoft for the processors and operating systems that drive the computers. Z-scop is exclusive to Zinox Technologies, and the laptops would be introduced slightly below N100 000 per unit. Every new computer purchased with complete payment would get a 10 per cent discount for laptops and seven per cent for desktops. There are also other options that allow participants to spread payment over six and 12 months under an interest-free arrangement, but such participants must first give the firm a post-dated cheque.[1]

Intel Corporation

Intel Corporation (Intel) is helping Nigeria bridge its digital divide and has published a White Paper documenting its support and assistance in 2007. It has launched a Classmate PC in Nigeria, with its pilot project in Jabi, Abuja, as the first pedagogic Information Communication Technology (ICT) based project. The project involves a fully developed e-classroom with an ICT-enabled environment and 250 Intel-powered Classmate PCs. The results have been encouraging with the pilot group outperforming other classes in two consecutive examinations with an average performance of over 20 per cent.[2] Based on the success of the pilot project, Intel will donate another 3,000 Classmate PCs to schools across Nigeria over the next few years.

Intel also plans to train 150, 000 teachers over the next five years through the Intel Teach Program. The program, which focuses on integrating ICT in the curriculum, has already trained more than 8,000 educators in Nigeria since October 2006.[3] This effort will be enhanced with the Intel Skoool Interactive Learning and Teaching Technology program, which has been tailored for Nigeria so teachers can create locally relevant lessons in math and science for secondary students.

With the support of the Federal Ministry of Health, Intel has launched a pilot telemedicine project that brings critical pediatric care to a rural hospital serving a region of 4.5 million people. Doctors in Bida are now able to consult in real time with pediatric and surgical specialists in Abuja through the new telemedicine system, which features video conferencing and high-speed broadband connections through WiMAX. The project makes it possible for physicians to shorten both time and distance in getting to patients to treat them.

The system connects one of Nigeria's flagship medical institutions, the National Hospital in Abuja, with the Federal Medical Centre in Bida, a rural 200-bed medical facility that's a four-hour drive away. Up to now, patients who needed referrals from Bida were forced to travel at least 250 kilometers to reach specialists - a trip most could not afford. In the project's first phase, a fetal-monitoring capability will permit doctors to remotely and quickly consult with medical staff and examine expectant mothers to monitor the progress of their pregnancies. Intel is also training medical practitioners and technical specialists at both hospitals to use the new technological tools.[4]

Microsoft Corporation

Microsoft Nigeria's Partners in Learning (PiL) program is going around Nigeria to train 225 primary and secondary school teachers, selected by the National Teachers' Institute and the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), in the use of ICT in education and Microsoft education applications. Each of the trainees is expected to train 10 of his/her colleagues, each of whom are also expected to impact on a minimum of 40 pupils. In October 2007, Microsoft completed the Kaduna leg of the training and planned to move on to Abakaliki and Ibadan. This is part of Microsoft’s global project to bring ICT to over one billion people through the multiplying effect of 'train the trainer' at a cost of US$215 million.[5]

Last year, PiL trained about 3, 000 Nigerian teachers and students from different secondary schools and Colleges of Education, partnering with a couple of organizations, such as SchoolNet Nigeria.

In the area of ICT curriculum for Nigerian schools, Microsoft is working with the National Teachers’ Institute (NTI).

Microsoft has also provided grants to eight NGOs spread around the country for the training of 1,500 people to build their capacity to use technology to improve their trade and livelihood. Examples include working mostly with people living with disability and young female graduates in Abuja, farmers and traders in North Central Kaduna, fishermen and women in Calabar in the South South zone, women in tie and dye in Abeokuta.

In the Home Makers' Program for Muslim women in Bauchi, they are learning to use IT and skills like sewing by the side. By learning to use the Internet, they can now visit sites that offer sewing designs which they can use to turn out merchandise for sale. They are also using Desktop Publishing to make greeting cards and wedding invitations without having to leave their house. The grant was given in March and the first program started in May with 45 women. According to Jummai Umar-Ajijola, Microsoft’s Citizenship Manager, another cycle of grants is expected in November. To enable the women to realize the full benefits of their training in IT, the Bauchi community resource centre devoted two hours everyday for women alone to use the cyber café.[6]

Another partner of Microsoft is Fantsuam Foundation in Bayan Loko, Kafanchan, Kaduna State, which provides microfinance assistance in the 10 chiefdoms of the state. Through its Knowledge Resource Centre, FF provides the people with access to affordable and accessible community-based information sources, including open access educational resources, local government information, school–related information, and public health services.[7] It has a HIV/AIDS intervention program and offers free computer training to orphans and vulnerable children, which Microsoft also supports.[8]

Back to Nigeria

[1] Nigeria: Zinox to Equip 100,000 Student With Computers, Highway Africa News Agency, September 21 2007
[2] Nigeria: Intel Reaffirms Commitment on Education, Daily Champion, Africa News, April 25, 2007
[3] Intel Expands Digital Accessibility and Education Initiatives in Nigeria, Telemedicine and Education Projects Launched by Intel Chairman Demonstrate Potential to Transform Millions of Lives, November 1 2007, M2 Presswire
[4] Telemedicine and Education Projects Launched by Intel Chairman Demonstrate Potential to Transform Millions of Lives, November 1 2007, M2 Presswire Intel Expands Digital Accessibility and Education Initiatives in Nigeria
[5] Microsoft Releases 'Unlimited Potential to Learn', This Day (Lagos), October 23 2007, posted to allAfrica.com on October 24 2007
[6] Ibid. Microsoft Releases 'Unlimited Potential to Learn'
[7] Press Release: Microsoft Community Affairs 2007 Unlimited Potential Program Recipients: Middle East and Africa, Microsoft website, February 23 2007
[8] Ibid. Microsoft Releases 'Unlimited Potential to Learn'