Cellular telephone manufacturing giant Nokia has donated one million euros (1.25 million U.S. dollars) to empower young people in Africa, a Nokia official said here on Tuesday.
In a statement issued in Nigeria's commercial capital Lagos, Nokia's Executive Vice President Veli Sunbeck in charge of corporate relations and responsibility said it was partnering with a body called Plan to use modern communications technologies to raise the awareness of children in Africa on rights and opportunities available to them.
"Nokia has provided an initial donation of one million euros for 2006 and the first stage of this new joint effort will see Nokia focus on supporting Plan's existing media and communications technology projects for Africa's children and youths," he said.
"We believe that we can have a positive impact through mobile technology as it is used to enable young people to realize their full potential," he added.
He explained that the aim of Nokia's cooperation with the Plan was to fight poverty by empowering African youths and giving them a voice through the use of technology.
According to him, the Plan has a good existing network, positive track record and extensive experience in using technology for youth development in Africa.
Tom Miller, chief executive officer of the Plan, said his company was committed to working in partnerships "not only with local groups or the governments in the countries where they work, but also with like-minded corporate organizations like Nokia."
"I believe that this cooperation will deliver long-term sustainable benefits for hundreds of communities in the developing world," he added.
The Nokia partnership is expected to give access to children in the use of Information Communication Technologies (ICT) such as radio, the internet, mobile devices and television.
"Involving children in digital media production either on the radio,video productions or in music helps introduce the potential of ICT to communities affected by poverty in a non-threatening way and links remote communities to a much wider national audience," he said.