At a time when several iPad killers are being released and rumoured to be released, the UK-Nigerian company that has set out to encipher a tablet for Nigeria has just announced a major partnership deal with ALT-I.
ALT-I is a research and development agency with a mission of taking African cultures into the knowledge era through advocacy and services delivery. ALT- I was set up to facilitate development of the necessary resources that will enable the engagement of Information Communication Technologies (ICT) in African Languages.
In case you don’t know, ALT-I is responsible for the localization of the Yoruba language within Windows vista OS and Office suites. The deal with Encipher will provide local-based android applications to be ported to the Encipher Tablet, currently being manufactured in China.
Some of the localized applications that will run on the Encipher Tablet include a Yoruba keyboard typing tutor, HIV/AIDS enlightenment presentations (in Yoruba), Malaria enlightenment presentations (in Yoruba), Water and Sanitation good practice presentations (in Yoruba) and the Nigerian Constitution audio series (in Yoruba).
According to Encipher’s Strategy and Innovation Manager, Saheed Adepoju,
Rural communities in Nigeria represent a large proportion of the population yet to experience the empowering dividends of the digital age. Mobile telephony represents the first in a series of steps in that direction. Indigenous Language driven computing and communications will be the next significant area of development and Encipher intends to make significant contributions in that area.
Encipher plans to concentrate on vertical markets such as Mobile payments (Telecommunications), Education, Energy (Oil & Gas) and other industries. They also hope to partner with industry leaders in these markets or build custom applications within Encipher and provide them on the Tablets for corporate use.
Despite the potentials in selling the tablet to mass market at a consumer level (Apple sold 2 million iPads in less than 60 days), Encipher has maintained that they are not in a “tablet war with the likes of Apple and the upcoming Google tablet”, but will rather “stick to the theme of cloud computing services and mobile apps development”.
“Encipher provides cloud computing services & mobile apps development (i.e Android, Symbian, IPhone & Blackberry). The tablet fits into our strategy of provision of some of our cloud services via custom built applications.” Adepoju explained.
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