Nigeria to buy 1m Negroponte laptops

By   |  July 25, 2006

The One Laptop per Child (OLPC) initiative for the developing world is gaining ground in Africa, with Nigeria announcing the acquisition of one million laptops, reports InfoWorld. But the Microsoft/Intel EduWise consortium is also making headway in the same market.

The OLPC is the product of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Media Lab co-founder Nicholas Negroponte which in May this year announced it had finalised the hardware and software for the low-cost machines.

InfoWorld yesterday reported that while the OLPC laptops were “initially touted as being priced at $100 … OLPC participants now say the price may fluctuate. In any case, they will be the cheapest ever sold in Africa, and several African countries are going for the idea.”

One of the countries keen on the idea is Nigeria where the Nigeria Communication Commission has already committed to ordering one million of the OLPC machines. “Egypt has said it is almost ready to commit itself to buying the laptops but has not said how many it is prepared to order. Zambian officials say negotiations to buy the machines are progressing well and that the country may soon announce the number of machines the country intends to order,” reports InfoWorld.

The OLPC machines demonstrated in May this year have a 800×480 screen that can be run at a respectable 1200×900 resolution. The new models, in orange, blue, yellow and the now-familiar lime-green, featured concepts like wifi aerials that cover the USB and audio ports when folded away and a nifty carrying handle.

The rival EduWise project — a collaboration between Microsoft, Intel, HP, Oracle and Cisco — is also making headway with a partnership with the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) and having already supplied computers to schools in Uganda.

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