Cellcom-Liberia GSM company has formally launched its new “empowering Liberia” Tablet PC initiative at a well-attended event held at the Monrovia City Hall on Thursday, April 10.
The tablet is a mini computer, has a dual core processor with the latest android technology, and a special USB connecter to allow memory sticks and other devices to be connected, including front and back cameras. It also comes with a custom built genuine leather carrying case, and most importantly, this android tab is also a dual SIM phone.
The Empowering Liberia Initiative is modeled after successful programs in parts of the world where governments have heavily subsidized technology, especially computers and tablets to give vast majority of their populations access to computer technology.
Research in these countries have shown that populations with access experience rapid acceleration of the strengthening of education and increase in average household incomes. Speaking at the colorful ceremony on Thursday night, Vice President Joseph Boakai lauded Cellcom for the Empowering Liberia Initiative.
He admonished other companies to follow the example of Cellcom. Ambassador Boakai said: “We are encouraging other entities to follow Cellcom, not just in developing telecommunications systems, but also because of their work to improve the lives of our people. I am happy that Cellcom has chosen to empower our young people.”
Delivering the keynote address at the event, Cellcom CEO, Mr. John Vasikaran, said that with the launch of Empowering Liberia, Cellcom has taken yet another step in fulfilling its continuing commitment to provide quality and affordable telecommunications access to all Liberians.
Mr. Vasikaran announced that through the new initiative, thousands of Liberians, especially Liberia’s majority youth population, across the country would now be able to easily access the world’s digital information library, which would help all sectors of society and could be a catalyst for lowering Liberia’s high illiteracy rate and ensuring rapid economic growth.
He observed: “It is my belief that in a country where above 70 percent of its population are young people, it tells me that any major initiative to transform Liberia should be focused on the young people, who are the drivers of the economy as well as the future of this nation.
It is my strong belief that the youth have a great responsibility to realize the dreams of this country, but it is our duty to provide them the tools they need to do so. Give the youth of Liberia the tools they need and they will make this country proud.”
At the climax of his speech, Mr. Vasikaran unveiled the new device which will be the heart of the Empowering Liberia Initiative. “I am pleased to present to you the UV-231 7 inch tablet PC. We have custom built this tab specifically to meet the needs of Liberians and at the heavily subsidized rate of $129, we are the first company to provide an affordable device which can act as a computer and will ensure that Liberians have easy access to transformative technology.”
Mr. Vasikaran explained the significance of the name UV-231, saying “U” stands for Ultra or ultimate, “V” represents victory and 231 is in honor of the Liberian country code. He informed the audience that the new device was built using the highest standards.
He explained that the tab has been tested for durability, incorporated the latest android framework, pre-loaded with programs including email, Facebook, WhatsApp and more.
“One very exciting thing is that this is not only a high end tablet, but it is also a dual SIM phone,” Vasikaran pointed out, and added, “So for an affordable price $129, [we] are putting a fully loaded tablet which also is a dual SIM phone in the hands of Liberians.”
Both the Chairman of Cellcom’s Board of Directors Mr. Avi Zaidenburg and Group CEO Mr. Avishai Marziano were unable to attend the ceremony due to other engagements.