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Wednesday, July 27, 2005

HP explains N28m splash on MEAP, telecenter

LEADING Information Technology (IT) company, Hewlett Packard Nigeria, has explained why it splashed over $200,000 (about N28 million) on the Micro Enterprises Accelleration Programme (MEAP) and telecentre in the country.

The company said the aim is to empower both micro entrepreneurs and students in the society to be more useful in a modern way.

This development is coming as HP has signed a deal for the actualisation of this project in addition to the building of an advanced computing and telecenter at the University of Ibadan.

For MEAP, HP said it has partnered with Pan African University’s department of Enterprise Development Services to create a MEAP Center, located at the Lagos Business School’s Victoria Island campus.

This would enable enterprises in under-served communities’ access technology, training and business coaching, in order to accelerate and sustain business growth and economic opportunity, according to the Managing Director of HP Nigeria, Mr. Maduka Emelife.

Towards this programme, the company said it has donated equipments and services worth over $120,000.

Champion Infotel recalls that HP Nigeria had in the past made several donations annually in equipments and services to NGOs, educational institutions, and government agencies, but decided to take a more robust approach that is expected to make a more significant and sustainable impact in the community.

Mr. Emelife said at the signing ceremony recently in Lagos that by partnering with local training and business development service providers, like the Pan-African University which are already working with micro-enterprises, “HP would be more directly helpful to micro entrepreneurs who would learn how to apply the power of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) to grow and sustain their businesses through its MEAP”.

Today’s micro enterprises, he said, are tomorrow’s corporations provided they are nurtured and developed.

“We believe that the combination of HP’s sponsorship and Pan African university’s execution would make a significant impact on the growth cycle of these micro enterprises”, Emelife said, describing micro enterprises as businesses with up to 10 employees that typically require minimal start-up costs.

Vice Chancellor of the Pan African University, Prof. Albert Alos, expressed gratitude to HP for recognizing the work the university is doing with micro enterprises, and for choosing to partner with it.

He restated the university’s commitment in working closely with HP to execute on this program.

Also speaking, Ms. Chioma Iwuchukwu, Channel Manager, HP said “over the last several years, as part of e-inclusion, HP has engaged with partners and communities around the globe to learn how information and communications technology tools and training can transform the lives of people in both rural and urban communities.

She enumerated some key benefits of the project for the micro enterprises who participate in the programme, to include access to state of the art HP technology at HP MEAP Centre, managed and staffed by local training and business development service providers, and hands-on training on how to use ICT to be more productive and grow their businesses faster.

For the second programme, which will be branded HP+IEEE Telecenter, HP is partnering with the department of Electrical Electronics Engineering at the University of Ibadan to build an advanced computing and telecenter, for the purpose of promoting computer education at the University of Ibadan, and nearby communities.

The center, which is costing HP over $80,000 in equipments and services, is a state of the art facility and is a 60-seat computer centre providing engineering students at the institution with modern computers and better access to the Internet.

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