An announcement was made by Lenovo today for its donation of $150,000 to the Millennium Promise’s Millennium Villages Project (MVP) that will establish nine new school computer labs and 25 Information and Communication Technology (ICT) kiosks in 10 countries in sub-Saharan Africa. The donation is to support local students and entrepreneurs through the purchase of 148 Lenovo PCs, including the H200 desktop, IdeaPad S12 netbook and ThinkPad SL500 laptop. It will also cover supporting technologies to the Millennium Villages, including installation, technology training and additional ICT equipment. The donation, part of Lenovo’s ‘Hope through Entrepreneurship’ program, will include the cost of installing solar power equipment at off-the-grid schools and kiosk sites. The first shipment of computers is currently on its way to Millennium Villages in Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mali, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Tanzania and Uganda.
The new ICT kiosks will be operated by local Millennium Village entrepreneurs and offer a sustainable way to supply basic ICT services to rural areas. Kiosk owners will be provided two-to-four computers from Lenovo, as well as technology and business training. Graduate students from Columbia University’s Business School and School of International and Public Affairs will also travel to kiosk sites as interns to help oversee the program and develop sustainable business skills. The nine new school computer labs will be outfitted with five-to-10 Lenovo computers as well as WiFi and 3G Internet access from Ericsson and other MVP supporters, where available. The new labs will play an integral role in supporting the MVP’s School-to-School initiative, a program that uses technology to link schools in the U.S. with Millennium Village schools, enabling them to share a culture and curriculum based on the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals.