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Obi , Microsoft, New Horizons Empower Anambra Youths

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In a unique partnership agreement signed with New Horizons, Governor Peter Obi of Anambra State has decided to spearhead an ICT revolution in the country  that will have about 10, 000 Secondary School Students of Anambra State plus 1, 500 civil servants being  empowered with one laptop each and relevant ICT skills in Microsoft courses. The first phase of the program will kick off next month, where 6, 500 participants will benefit.
According to Governor Peter Obi, “ICT is the future of this country; therefore our people in Anambra state should be at the vanguard of the ICT revolution in Nigeria”. He further asserted that “the greatest legacy any government can bestow to the incoming generation is qualitative education driven by ICT”.
Ken Spann spoke  on the significance of an IT Literate society and  noted that “Education is a powerful and positive force for growth and development in every society. Microsoft believes that education drives forward the goals and aspirations of nations, industries and individuals. Microsoft is committed to create partnerships with students, educators, institutions and governments to help them achieve their educational goals and contribute to the development of the country and their industries”. 
By this partnership Anambra State under Governor Peter Obi has become the first to produce 100 Microsoft Academies. Furthermore the state is first to begin the process of allocation of one-laptop per child initiative. Thirdly, his administration is first to also give one-laptop per civil servant as against what obtains in other states where civil servants cannot have access to computer after working hours. The civil servants in Anambra State can take the laptop home as this will increase their proficiency in ICT skills.
According to Tim Akano, MD/CEO New Horizons, Gov. Peter Obi’s initiative is keeping to the tradition of excellence which he epitomises. He said also that “the Peter Obi Initiative will go a long way to consolidate the intellectual achievement of old generations of Anambra State indigenes, a state that has produced great sons and daughters like the world’s renowned Poet and Writer – Albert Chinualumogu Achebe from Ogidi, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie from Abba and most significantly, Dr. Phillip Emeagwali, who according to Black Inventor’s website is called “Africa’s Bill Gates, and the biggest African Scientist of all time. 
Governor Obi while highlighting the main objective of embarking on this project said “it is in keeping up with the promise I made to the people of Anambra state that our administration would continue to concentrate on projects that would have strategic, lasting impact on the people and not projects intended to have just passing political capital or statements. He stated further that one of the intentions of this initiative is to reduce the rate of unemployment especially among the Youths, adding that early transfer of relevant skills to Secondary School Students and also up-skilling the ICT competency of civil servants in the state will turn Anambra state into a 21st Century knowledge economy.
Under this agreement,  Microsoft would be registering 100 out of the participating schools as IT Academies that would offer relevance, access and affordability from the IT Enterprise’s wide bouquet of software solutions such as the Microsoft Office 2007 Home and Students’ version. Moreover, Microsoft will provide online and offline access methods for students to get access to products parts of MSDN Academic Alliance. They will also launch Dreamspark program for online access to students in the country.
Microsoft IT Academy program is a nonprofit initiative offering 21st Century Skills for Employability training and enable continuing training possibilities, as they offer both digital literacy and curriculum for professional ICT skills ideal for information workers, IT professionals and developers.  Microsoft will work with the Ministry of Education and each Secondary school to establish and expand Microsoft IT Academy Centres to facilitate a low cost continuum of ICT skills training. 
Microsoft will support the activation of the educational institutions, and New Horizons will train 1 teacher per IT Academy through its highly skilled Instructors.
The State Government will identify the schools and civil servants to benefit from this training and support with necessary funds, logistics and infrastructure such as classrooms for the training while New Horizons Systems Solutions Limited will recruit and re-train instructors that would be involved in the subsequent training. The company will also provide computer systems (laptops) to the participating schools and civil servants, which would be given to the participants at the end of the programme. The training is set to commence from the last quarter of the year 2009. 

 


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MTN Launches ‘Visitor SIM’, Designed for Guests Coming into the Country

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MTN Nigeria has announced the introduction of its new Visitor SIM specially designed for guests travelling into the country.

The Visitor SIM comes pre-loaded with an appealing package that includes local and international call and data bundles.

This package will enable people visiting from other countries to stay connected with their friends, family and business associates on MTN’s super-fast network.

MTN VisitorSIMs are easy for inbound international visitors to acquire, activate and use, in addition to which they offer far better value than any roaming tariff.

Not available from any other operator, the service is poised to deliver convenience and the best-in-class customer experience in line with MTN’s brand promise.

According to Adekunle Adebiyi, chief sales and distribution Officer, MTN Nigeria, “The new Visitor SIMs will ensure that before setting foot outside the airport, people visiting Nigeria can plug in, reconnect – to loved ones, associates, tools and information, and begin sharing their remarkable experiences, with no concern about roaming charges.”

 

MTN Visitor SIMs are available in the arrival halls of international airports and other ports of entry.

They are valid for 14 days, which can be extended up to 30 days via MTN’s self-service menus or USSD.


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Nigeria COVID-19 Response: UNICEF, IHS Nigeria Collaborate to Contribute Medical Supplies

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United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) received the delivery of 115,800 COVID-19 test kits to support the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria. These supplies were funded by IHS Nigeria, the Nigerian subsidiary of IHS Towers.

Testing remains the mainstay of the response led by the Presidential Task Force and Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and the first step towards diagnosing the infection. Tests enable health officials to understand the COVID-19 status of an individual and link that person to care, support and treatment while contributing to the protection of families and communities.

“Testing remains a core strategy of Nigeria’s response to COVID-19. This is critical for understanding the burden of the disease on our population and targeting our response activities accordingly. The primary goal of the Nigerian Government is to control the spread of this disease.

“This donation from IHS Nigeria through UNICEF will contribute to the national stockpile of test kits managed by NCDC, and support efforts of the growing network of accredited laboratories across the country for the testing of COVID-19. We are grateful for the continued support from UNICEF, IHS Towers and other partners.” said Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, Director General, NCDC.

IHS Towers has been a strong and continuing partner of UNICEF. At the onset of the coronavirus in Nigeria in late February, IHS Nigeria provided funding to UNICEF to urgently procure essential supplies and equipment with which UNICEF supported the Government of Nigeria in its COVID-19 response.

“UNICEF is deeply appreciative of IHS Towers’ commitment to being a partner in UNICEF’s work in Nigeria. Once more, IHS has shown great generosity in supporting UNICEF’s ongoing efforts to work closely with the Government of Nigeria in the fight against COVID-19.

“I am very delighted to receive this huge contribution from IHS Towers, the benefit of which will reach many more children and their families“, said Peter Hawkins, UNICEF Country Representative.

“We are proud to have played an important role in supporting the Government and our communities where we operate to provide crucial tools needed to fight this pandemic. We understand this virus is here to stay for the foreseeable future, but are confident that with our support, and that of our other private sector colleagues, we are helping to manage and mitigate the impact of the virus in our country” said Mohamad Darwish, Chief Executive Officer of IHS Nigeria.

This recent support of essential tests makes IHS Towers the biggest private sector donor for UNICEF Nigeria’s emergency response to the COVID-19 pandemic.


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Coca-Cola, Red Cross Society Expand Fight Against COVID-19 In Nigeria

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In a bid to support the fight against the Coronavirus disease, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) along with its national society Nigerian Red Cross (NRC) has started the distribution of PPEs and risk communications efforts to the tune of N228 Million to support its COVID-19 interventions in Nigeria.

 

This is part of The Coca-Cola Foundation’s $2.5million grant to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) to support the COVID-19 pandemic within the West and Central Africa sub-regions.

The grant, which leverages the long-standing partnership between The Coca-Cola Company and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), seeks to support national efforts in the fight against the Coronavirus disease through the provision of essential medical supplies, personal protective equipment (PPE) and risk communications to impacted communities, healthcare personnel on the frontlines and treatment centres across the country.

 

Speaking on the donation, Yebeltal Getachew, managing director, Coca-Cola Nigeria Limited, explained, “The Coca-Cola System (Coca-Cola Nigeria, Nigeria Bottling Company and Chi Limited) remains committed to providing support to the communities we serve during these challenging times.

 

“By providing healthcare workers with much-needed PPEs, we are confident that this will go a long way in ensuring their safety as they remain on the frontlines of the fight against COVID-19.

 

“Coca-Cola is proud to support the Red Cross as we deliver on our purpose of making a difference across the world”. 

 

Medical supplies being donated comprise N95 respirators, surgical masks, examination gloves, face shields, medical gowns, no-touch thermometers, disposable aprons, heavy-duty rubber gloves, rubber boots, basic masks, disposable gloves, and hand sanitizers.

 

Expressing his gratitude for the donation, Abubakar Kende, secretary-general for the Nigerian Red Cross Society explained, “We have identified the facilities in urgent need of these PPEs in consultation with NCDC and the Federal Ministry of Health and will subsequently be distributed to these centres.

 

“This will ensure that treatment centres across the country are properly equipped with necessary PPEs as we continue to fight the disease”. 

IFRC seeks to directly impact the lives of over 1.4 million people in Nigeria and across other countries in West and Central Africa under this partnership. For over a century, The Coca-Cola Company and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) have sustained a rewarding partnership that has seen the rehabilitation and preservation of human lives across the world through the delivery of humanitarian aid and emergency response to communities affected by disasters.

 

 

 


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