Fighting poverty with mobile phone

CIOL Bureau
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BANGALORE: In an attempt to aid as many as 5,000 people in rural Nigeria come out of poverty, mobile major Ericsson and Zain a leading mobile operator in the Middle East and Africa have joined hands with the effective deployment of mobile telecom services.


The two companies will be working with the Millennium Villages Project run by the Earth Institute at Columbia University, Millennium Promise and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in this regard. The companies have deployed communications services to fight poverty in a largely rural area of the country, pushing some of the poorest regions of Nigeria towards achieving the nationally endorsed UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), said a statement.

It added that the installation of mobile technology is part of the Millennium Villages Project which is a community-based initiative designed to empower the people of Pampaida in Ikara Local Government Area of Kaduna State of Nigeria. It helps improve agricultural production thus reducing poverty. Additional benefits include improving access to health, education and infrastructure, all under the umbrella of achieving the MDGs by 2015, the statement added.

The Millennium Village Project has a set an objective of bringing mobile communication and the Internet service to more than half a million people in select villages in 10 countries in sub-Saharan Africa, it added.


According to Bayo Ligali, chief executive officer, Zain Nigeria, the company is collaborating with Ericsson to provide communications solutions that will help to improve the quality of life of people in one of the remotest parts of Nigeria.

He said the Pampaida project is part of Zain's Corporate Social Responsibility Programmes of creating and helping people to appreciate a wonderful world. “The communication solutions that have been deployed will enable the people of Pampaida to make calls, access health services and education and improve their economic status," he added.

Pointing out that jobs will be created, relationships will be enhanced and the communication gap between this community and the rest of the world will be bridged and a whole new communication experience, he said “a truly wonderful world will be created for the people of Pampaida"