Last week, the Zinox brand began a bolder move towards conquering the African continent.
It entered Ghana amid fanfare with open arms from those that matter and could make its presence an unrivalled success. The government and the private sector turned out en masse.
The Minister of Defense, Hon. Albert Kan Dapaah, the Minister of Communications, Hon. Ben Aggrey Ntim, the Minister of Education, Youth and Sports, Professor Dominic Fobih, Managing Directors of IT companies, heads of IT departments and knowledge workers, among others, found time to attend the epoch making event in the gold coast.
The Zinox team felt like it was a home coming. The Chairman of the company, Chief Leo Stan Ekeh could not contain his joy when he said: "I am happy to welcome you to the formal launch of Zinox Technologies (Ghana) Limited. I am greatly humbled that you left your usually busy schedule to attend this humble event to herald the arrival of the Zinox brand of internationally certified computers to Ghana.
"This launch is significant to us in two ways. Firstly, it is an opportunity to advance the corporate objectives of our all consuming passion, Zinox Computers. It is also elevating to keep faith with the pan African vision of the founding fathers of this great country, through the provision of a technology platform to harness and actualize the collective aspirations of Africans."
Zinox Technologies has become a household name in Nigeria and its signature is bold in government agencies, ministries, higher institutions, banks, multi-national companies and homes.
It initiated and flagged off the Computerize Nigeria Project, an initiative conceived in August 2000 to sensitize and encourage human capacity development and e-learning, has not only been successful at supporting ministries, educational institutions with highly discounted rates, but also became a model for the government owned Computer for All Nigerian Initiative (CANi).
It is believed that government ha ceded about 60 per cent of its computer needs to Zinox Technologies because of the daunting challenge it give the foreign brands.
Through the CANi project, high net worth individuals have been able to donate computers to schools and hospitals, business men have been able to set up cyber cafes at a fraction of the present cost (hardware-wise) and people have become increasingly become interested in giving computer systems as gifts instead of other material things that do not boost knowledge.
Zinox has rooted its presence in more than 10 institutions has made computer acquisition for students a child’s play. And several IT resource centres have been lighted in schools and communities with subsidized hard wares to empower its community.
Little wonder the brand competes favorably with the International acclaimed brands as Hewlett Packard and Dell.
Recently, the International Data Corp (IDC) of USA, rated Zinox near par with HP
For Zinox team, "the brand is a spiritual responsibility to deliver Africa in the emerging knowledge economy, and as at the moment, building the largest digital Assembly plant in due for commissioning in April, next year."
Ekeh believes lack of proper application of IT is partly responsible for the continent’s high illiteracy, hunger and disease that torment the vast majority across the continent.
Expressing his fears if the continent continues to throw out IT of the windows, he said: "brain drain and capital flight remain the most prominent features of the post colonial relationships in favor of Europe, America, and now Asia. It is doubtful if the nations of the continent are developing in real terms in spite of their abundant raw material and raw human resources. The fact that globalization has tended to consolidate the emergence of Africa as a profitable market for luxury goods and abandoned technologies increases our fears for survival but hastens our resolve to act as a people. It should be noted that the present overwhelming growth of China will pose a major disadvantage to African countries if we don’t wake up to this challenge and embrace ICT.
"We must see ourselves as one people, acting together with the common purpose of redeeming our continent from these scourges that continue to keep us underdeveloped. The founding fathers of our nations, using Ghana as their Mecca, dreamt of an Africa without political boundaries. Today, we propose Zinox as the technology platform for the attainment of that dream. The reasons why we propose the adoption of the Zinox brand as the pan African IT platform to serve as the arrow head for Africa’s participation in the information age.
While Ekeh in his speech said as Zinox is ready to meet and surpass the Ghanaians expectations in terms of quality, he implored the government to encourage productivity and capacity building the present high tariff in the country can be reviewed.
His words: " I would just crave your indulgence to look at a few practical ways where we can act together and pull down the boundaries that could limit a pan African technology. The onus is on the entrepreneur to win the confidence of policy makers and consumers in his operating environment. He must ensure that the quality of his products is of world-class standard and meets the aspirations of his environment. That explains why Zinox undertook and mastered the tedious and sometimes frustrating quality processes prescribed by Intel and Microsoft. Today Zinox is the only Microsoft authorized OEM partner in West Africa with WHQL certification to her credit and the only system builder in Sub-Saharan Africa with ISO 9001:2000 QMS certification. In addition we are the Largest Intel Premier Partner in Sub Saharan Africa.
But, I learnt that the tariff regime in Ghana is the highest on the West coast. It would make a lot of sense to place a high tariff on luxury goods and other goods that do not encourage productivity and capacity building. However, it would be counter productive to allow the high tariffs to affect products that engender growth and productivity. Information Technology penetration is subsidized in most parts of the world. The computer has been demystified from its high position as a product for the rich. Today, the computer is the main driver of education, development, security and governance. I recommend that you take another look at not just the tariff but also consider interventionist moves to make the computer accessible to a majority of Ghanaians."