Im sorry, could have continued this in another thread but look, in all honesty, this deserved a new thread.
Posted Thursday, November 17, 2005
Nigeria reveals hi-tech to rival Korea
42-inch plasma screen television, elegantly designed with a black lacquer finish, dominates the Nigerian stand at ICT4All, the trade exhibition running parallel to the World Summit on the Information Society in Tunis. The ultra-flat screen television could pass unnoticed but for the fact that it is 100 per cent Nigerian made. The emergence of the hi-tech sector in the heart of the most underdeveloped continent, according to the latest UN report on information technology, is one of the surprises of the Tunis exhibition.
The plasma television is not the only product of the small but energetic Omatek, a Lagos company which several months ago began turning out also office computers and latest generation PCs.
''The technology is imported but the production is 100 per cent Nigerian " explains Oluyomi Soyinka, director general. "Our production lines, where some 250 people work, can produce up to 60,000 computers per year. With the flat screen televisions we expect great results, thanks to a final price which is on average from 30-35 per cent lower than our Korean or Japanese competitors"
In practice, this mean selling at just over 600,000 naira (around 3,000 dollars) a 42 inch television that Asian competitors can not offer for less than a million naira.
The advantage, Solinka admits, comes also from the high taxes on imports, but the experiments is still unique in Africa.
The range of Omatek products, besides TVs and computers (where the only imported elements are the motherboards and processors) includes hi-fi and home theatre systems as well as monitors for presentations.
But the company, whose main stakeholders are two of Nigeria's main banks, wants to support the technological growth of the most populous African nation. It has recently approved an e-youth initiative, to provide families and schools at competitive prices and installment payments, a pc installed with educational software and lwide-band access to the Internet.