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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Main One collaborates with Microsoft on indigenous solutions

Main One Cable Company, West Africa’s communications services company, is collaborating with Microsoft to develop innovative but indigenous software under the Microsoft Imagine Cup platform. The competition is a premier student technology challenge where student innovators from all over the world compete to produce various ground-breaking application ideas, and implement from concept to marketplace with Microsoft resources, according to the company. Microsoft said this at the Image Club completion held in Lagos. As part of Microsoft’s YouthSpark initiative, the competition offers young entrepreneurs, innovators and developers an opportunity to develop ideas, create products, set clear business plans and take such products to the market. All Imagine Cup Worldwide Finalist teams are eligible to apply for Imagine Cup Grants, a three year $3m investment by Microsoft to help students turn their ideas into reality. Microsoft BizSpark, another YouthSpark initiative, enables Imagine Cup participants to establish start-up businesses in their communities and across the web. As part of the sponsorship, Main One was the sole bandwidth sponsor, providing 20 megabytes broadband capacity to the event for live streaming. The national finals of the competition, and the stakeholders’ forum, which was held in Lagos last week, had in attendance over 80 students with participants competing for a place in the worldwide finals. Previously hosted in Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Korea, France, Egypt, Poland, USA and Australia, the programme will now hold in St. Petersburg, Russia from July 8 to July 11, 2013. In total, 12 teams from Nigeria competed during the day of presentations, which brought together students from universities across the country with Team Life Saver emerging winner. Members of the team were from Obafemi Awolowo University and Ladoke Akintola University of Technology. They competed in the category of World Citizenship. Their solution titled CardioLife is designed to tackle heart attack by monitoring heart reading on the fly via the Microsoft Windows phone. The solution also provides a rehabilitation programme for stroke patients using Kinect sensor. The statement said the team would represent Nigeria at the global finals where the lucky winner could win $300,000. Head of Marketing, Main One Cable, Mrs. Jumoke Akande, said, “New technologies are rapidly changing businesses, socio-political landscapes and the lives of consumers in Nigeria, Africa as a whole, and other parts of the world, and the speed of adoption is inspiring. “Main One has consistently recognised the opportunities software development, especially indigenous, will play in this critical phase of Nigeria’s human development, and supported the equipping of young people with necessary technology competencies, to put the future of our nation in their hands.” The National Technology Officer, Microsoft Anglophone West Africa, Mr. Yinka Oni, said, “Each team that competed in the regional finals is deserving of the highest recognition for the creativity and imagination applied to some of the world’s biggest challenges. “We’re proud to honour these young students who we believe truly exemplify the spirit of the Imagine Cup competition, and we’ll be cheering Team Life Saver on as they compete on the world stage in St. Petersburg.” Oni added, “Imagine Cup is also directly aligned with the Microsoft 4Afrika Initiative that was launched earlier this year as it drives access to technology, innovation and world-class skills. We believe deeply that technology can accelerate growth for Africa, and Africa can also accelerate technology for the world, and we are honoured to engage these young people to help bring their innovative ideas to fruition.”

Jonathan meets security chiefs

President Goodluck Jonathan is currently meeting security chiefs at the Presidential Villa, Abuja in his bid to end the violence being experienced in some parts of the country. The meeting which started a few minutes ago may consider the report of the committee the President set up about two weeks ago to look at the clamour for amnesty for members of the violent Islamic sect and its feasibility. The committee was given two weeks to submit its report. The latest meeting of security chiefs with Jonathan is coming less than 12 hours after the President met traditional rulers from the northern part of the country on the same issue of insecurity in the country.