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Wednesday, May 17, 2006

HP lifts LBS with digital lab

By Remmy Nweke

Worldwide Information Technology (IT) solution provider, Hewlett Packard (HP) West African office has lifted the Enterprise Development Services (EDS) of the Lagos Business School, with the commissioning of a 24-seater digital laboratory in Lagos, under its Microenterprise Acceleration Programme (MAP).

The laboratory, according to the MAP Project Manager at HP West Africa, Mr. Stanley Muoneke comes with a training curriculum in addition to the smarter technology for a smarter business and certified trainers.

It is also channeled towards providing training for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) at the EDS faculty of the Lagos Business School (LBS), the Nigerian campus of the Pan African University (PAU).

Speaking at the occasion, Managing Director of HP West Africa, Dr. Lloyd Atabansi, said the commissioning marks a significant paradigm shift globally and particularly for Nigeria, stressing that as SMEs continue to grow in business, the nation would grow economically as well.

HP, he noted, along with other global players in the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector has been consistence in partnering with laudable projects that would help in reducing poverty and at the same time bridging the ugly trend of digital divide.

This, he said, that was why HP has been partnering with NEPAD’s e-school initiative of which it recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to assist teachers in delivering lectures to their students with modern equipments.

“All these are aimed at providing people access to technology,” he said, noting that the commissioning at EDS has added to the way HP wanted to reform the nation.

“The use of ICT in the education of both our present and future generations of economic, social, political and technology drivers,” he asserted.

Dr. Atabansi reassured on HP’s resolve to make the digital lab also known as MAP Centre a success by ensuring that relevant expertise are readily available.

Globally, he said, MAP is gaining overwhelming attention and today has over 35,000 participants per year in over 70 of such centers, even as 11 nations within the Middle East and Africa, are participating including Nigeria, which is taking part for the first time.

Also speaking, Vice Chancellor, PAU, Prof. Albert Alos lauded HP for the support so far as he assured of continuous collaboration between the two entities.

He pointed out that the partnership with HP on EDS would produce substantial knowledge for SMEs in the country, stressing that most of SMEs are afraid of computer keyboards and “once they know what keys to press they would make good of it”.

Explaining further, Mr. Muoneke said that MAP is a programme that presents SME’s, international and local Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) training and business development service providers like EDS in communities with access to technology, enabling them to grow and manage their businesses proficiently.

According to him, HP has established alliances with leading country NGOs and local non-profit training and business development service providers like EDS, who are already working with enterprise and small businesses in communities.

He also said that the equipment contributed were based on a thorough technology assessment of the local service providers, and the selection of a unique technology solution to meet the specific needs.

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