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Wednesday, November 28, 2007

$100 laptop now sales for N47,000

The initial popularised $100 (about N14,000) laptop now sales for $399 (about N47,407.18), according to the chairman of the non-profit association, One Laptop Per Child (OLPC), Prof. Nicholas Negroponte.

Champion Infotel recollects that at the official launch in Tunisia during the 2005 World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), $100 laptop was the toast of every participant, including Nigerian government led by then President Olusegun Obasanjo, who took interest in the project and subsequently ordered for 1 million units.

The deal was reportedly the first actual order for the project that aimed at providing Linux-powered laptops to children in developing economies.

In what Dr. Negroponte tagged as ‘Buy one, get one’ offer by his organisation, people now have the opportunity to buy one of the OLPC laptops and get one free at the latest price.

The chairman in an electronic mail, said that the offer which commenced since November 12 and was initially scheduled to end last Monday, November 26, but has now been extended to December 31, 2007 in the United States and Canada.

During this period, he said, buyers are expected to donate the revolutionary XO laptop to a child in a developing nation, and also receive one for the child in their homes or any location in recognition of their contribution.

“Thanks to a growing interest in the programme, we’re extending ‘Give One Get One’ until the end of the year,” he affirmed, stressing that through this extension, and the increasing public interest in OLPC, its hoped to give many more children the opportunity to grow, explore, learn and express themselves.

“You have the opportunity to give-one-get-one for $399, or give many, if you wish,” he enjoined, adding that by popular demand, there are ways to direct 60 or more to any favourite school of the buyer’s choice, as well.

OLPC, he said, is an education project, not a laptop project, describing children as a mission, rather than a market.

After over 30 years of research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Media Lab and based on Seymour Papert’s theories of constructionism, OLPC was experimented for three years in primary schools around the world, including Cambodia, India, Nigeria, Brazil, Peru to name a few, just as the XO laptop is now in mass production.

“Our goal is to reach the poorest and most remote children, in countries where as many as 50 per cent do not even go to school. The long term purpose is to eliminate poverty,” he said.

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