My name is Frank Okoye and i run a private ICT concern in Nigeria, providing high speed internet service to homes, offices, schools and government organisations. I achieve this using VSAT in remote parts of Nigeria and wireless infrastructure in urban parts of the country. I am, amongst several things, a Chartered Member of the British Computer Society.
My organisation also repairs and supplies computer systems, laptops and other ICT peripherals to a number of organisations. On a number of occasions we have had requests for your XO (OLPC) laptops but efforts to purchase this from the open market both here (Nigeria) and oversea has not been successful. I took time out to go through the OLPC website just now, and i understand why we cannot find it in the open market.
I remember congratulating Mr. Nicholas Negroponte via email, so many years ago when this scheme was just an initiative (and he replied back, unfortunately i can't find my copy, I'm sure he might still have my email) and lauded his efforts at getting our children (in the developing world) out of poverty through education by bridging the gap between us and the rest of the developed world through technology.
Unfortunately, several years after, our children are yet to benefit from this great initiative, as the XO laptop (which we then knew as the $100 laptop) is nowhere in sight either as a gift from the initiatives of the donors or as an item purchased directly by those in need of it. How, i ask, can we ensure that our schools here benefit from this initiative?
I presently have a number of schools who have gone as far as raising some money to buy the XO in a very limited number, so they could rotate usage amongst the pupils until they have more money to buy more or some charity comes their way in form of a donation from God knows where?
As a professional running an ICT concern for so many years in a developing country, it is rather embarrassing that I have never seen the XO laptop other than what i read about it online, to arm myself well enough for questions from those who assume i should know everything about such things, it really is embarrassing.
Kindly advice me on how I can purchase a few units or how I can get schools here to benefit directly from this wonderful initiative. We need to empower our children now and we appreciate any help in that regard.