Controversy Over Kenya Laptops for Schools Project

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An Indian firm has won a Ksh 22 billion (USD290 million) contract to supply just over 1.2 million laptop computers to primary schools across the country although concerns have been raised about the contract.

Under terms of the contract, Olive Telecommunications will supply 1.224 million laptops made up of just over 1.2 million for pupils and 20,637 for teachers. The company will also supply 20,637 printers and a similar number of projectors. The equipment will be delivered in three phases.

However, there is controversy over the contract as the tender document requires that the supplier be a computer manufacturer, and Olive Telecommunications simply rebrands devices made in China under contract.

Two other firms were shortlisted, HP and Haier. The matter became more controversial after it was reported that Olive Telecommunications had contacted Haier seeking its support as a manufacturer.

The other two bidders had also offered to set up Kenyan assembly plants for the laptops if they won the contracts.

Education Cabinet Secretary Jacob Kaimenyi maintained that the winning bid was the lowest and best offer available.

Olive Telecommunications has not commented on the reports, and its own news service hasn't been updated since March 2012.

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Tags: Kenya 

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