" ITREALMS: Obasanjo launches CANi

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Obasanjo launches CANi

Remmy Nweke

President Olusegun Obasanjo would, tomorrow, officially launch the ‘Computer for All Nigerians Initiative’ (CANi). The project is billed towards making Personal Computers (PCs) available at more affordable prices to the citizenry.

CANi is a Public, Private Partnership between the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology and Intel, Microsoft, Omatek, Zinox, Brian and Beta computer companies among other technology companies. The formal launch is slated to take place at place at the Presidential Villa, Asokoro, Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja.

With CANi, PCs for home use would be available to workers in paid employment in the public and private sectors at affordable and easy payment terms yet to be disclosed.

Whereas payments could be planned over 24 months, that is, two years, at competitive interest rates through employers and participating financial institutions.

According to the Programme Director of the independent body established to administer CANi, Project Management Office (PMO), Mr. Soji Romeo, the core aims are threefold.

“We are here to provide affordable technology that meets the unique needs of the Nigerian home computer market; develop the local computer hardware and software economy; and to improve Nigerians’ computer literacy and, thus, stimulate the use of technology in our lives,” he said.

Also speaking on the initiative, Intel’s General Manager for Emerging Markets, Mr. Mark Beckford, said the company is committed to making PC technology more broadly available to people in developing nations.

Digital inclusion programmes, such as CANi, he noted, forms part of Intel’s global World Ahead Programme, which aims to speed up access to technology and information in developing nations by focussing on the three key areas of “accessibility, connectivity and education.”

Mr. Beckford further pointed out that the focus needs to be on delivering products and technologies that are specifically designed to meet the unique needs and usage models of developing markets like Nigeria.

Equally commenting of the project, General Manager Microsoft West Africa, Mr. Gerald Ilukwe, corroborated, stressing that the company believes strongly in CANi, a fact which has reflected in Microsoft’s significant investment in logistics and project support.

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