Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Omatek partners One Laptop Per Child


Local manufacturer of computers and entertainment convergence systems, Omatek Computers Limited, has advanced plans to partner with a Massachusetts-based non-profit association, One-Laptop Per Child, on the production of $100 laptop to boost children education in developing countries including Nigeria.

The partnership would spur Omatek to serve as an outsource for the One Laptop Per Child initiative led by renowned Prof. Nicholas Negroponte, as its chairman.

Deputy General Manager, Omatek, Mr. Olumide Akinmtimi revealed this after a session with the Director, One Laptop Per Child for Middle East and African, Mr. Khaleed Hassaounah, in Lagos.

Omatek, he said, under the proposed collaboration would see to the one million laptops expected to be distributed among Nigerian schools, which according to the association will be localized through adding value to both the software and hardware aspects.

He also enjoined government to support this collaboration by ensuring the infrastructure such as power supply is there always and availability of fund to enable them meet the target with good local inputs.

For the Director, Mr. Hassaounah, the organization plans to complete production of the initial seven (7) million laptops mapped out in the first phase of the project, whereas the distribution would commence precisely by May 2007.

“Precisely by May 2007, distribution would begin,” he said.

Seven countries have been chosen from various continents to include Nigeria, China, India, Thailand, Egypt, Brazil and Argentina with each due to receive 1m laptops respectively.

On deployable software, he said, that Open Source (OS) has been chosen, explaining that it would allow children to use and learn from the software. Emphasising that it would encourage future software developers for these nations, recognizing that every country has its own peculiar challenges.

Omatek Computers Limited represents the technology of eight renowned factories in Asia, known for their foremost computer and accessories’ production and is bent on producing made in Nigeria Omatek Computers, notebooks and servers with all components.

Thus priding itself as the first on the continent, to produce Nigerian made computer cases, speakers, keyboards and mouse.While One Laptop Per Child, is an initiative sponsored by the Media Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), dedicated to developing a $100 laptop computer, in the hopes of revolutionizing the way children are educated throughout the global.

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