Research In Motion (RIM) the maker of BlackBerry smartphones and BlackBerry PlayBook tablets, today announced it is launching the BlackBerry Academic Program in Nigeria. The Yaba College of Technology, a leading Nigerian tertiary institution based in Lagos, is introducing the free-to-use BlackBerry resources to their students, joining a worldwide program that includes nearly 700 institutions in more than 113 countries.
Robert Bose, Regional Managing Director for Africa and the Middle East said, “Nigerians are a very important part of our global developer community so we are very excited to announce the Yaba College of Technology is joining the BlackBerry Academic Program. As part of our commitment to the Nigerian market, and the Nigerian government’s ICT initiatives, this underlines our strategic aim to support the future generation of mobile software developers, and to help create new jobs in this country. We also extend the invitation to more universities here in Nigeria to become part of this global network.”
The BlackBerry Academic Program, which is available to tertiary institutions and students throughout Nigeria and around the world, gives educators access to the latest teaching resources and BlackBerry technologies, equipping students with the knowledge and practical hands-on experience to enhance their development skills and create apps.
Dr. (Mrs.) Margaret Kudi Ladipo, Rector of Yaba College of Technology said, “We are proud to be one of the first institutions in Nigeria to officially sign up to the BlackBerry Academic Program. The mobile market, specifically app development, presents infinite opportunities for the future generation of Nigerians. Together with RIM, the BlackBerry Academic Program will help Yaba College equip our students with new skills and knowledge that will enable them to take advantage of the local and global opportunities available on the BlackBerry platform, a leading platform in the mobile market.”
Students at a number of universities in Nigeria are already benefiting from access to the tools and resources of BlackBerry Academic Program through the web, including individuals at the Lagos State University, the Federal University of Technology Akure, Ekiti State University and Babcock University. In addition a large number of independent students are making use of program’s resources for the purpose of self-study.
Robert Bose added, “Today, staff and students in more than 100 institutions across Africa are using BlackBerry academic resources to prepare students embarking on careers and starting businesses in the fast growing mobile computing sector. As the leading smartphone vendor in Nigeria and across Africa, we believe that providing access to knowledge, skills and technology will help digital entrepreneurs take advantage of our smartphone market leadership in Africa, and reach over 78 million BlackBerry customers globally through the BlackBerry App World storefront.”
RIM is the smartphone market leader in Nigeria and South Africa, and according to researcher Canalys (Canalys Smartphone Data, Q2 2012), RIM is the number 1 smartphone vendor in Africa overall. BlackBerry continues to grow from strength to strength in Africa and both the BlackBerry 7 OS and upcoming BlackBerry® 10 platform, represent a huge opportunity for African mobile developers. Later today at BlackBerry Jam Americas 2012 in San Jose, California, RIM will reveal the bold, new direction BlackBerry is heading with BlackBerry 10.
In addition to the BlackBerry Academic Program, RIM is already supporting the Nigerian developer community in a number of ways. Recently, RIM brought the BlackBerry 10 Jam World Tour to Lagos, where over 70 developers learned about developing for BlackBerry 10. The next BlackBerry 10 developer presentation is being held at the AppGig event at NigeriaCom on Thursday 27th September at the Eko Hotel & Suite, Kuramo Waters, Victoria Island, Lagos.
Nigerian developers are already successfully creating local apps and content on the BlackBerry platform, which are available on BlackBerry App World. These include the Nigerian Constitution App, by Pledge51 for access to important constitutional information, SeeAm, to find the location of all ATMs throughout Nigeria and the EssentialApp, a free-to-download BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) integrated app that provides a useful guide for entertainment and day-to-day life in Nigeria.
Hear more from Nigerian developers in the following video about why they develop for BlackBerry.