RIM Partners YabaTech, Opens Store In Lagos

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VENTURES AFRICA – RIM, manufacturers of Blackberry smartphones, is looking at working closely with the Nigerian government, according to a statement by the company.

RIM’s Regional MD for the Middle East and Africa, Robert Bose said in Lagos: “We also want to help maximise skills that bring technology into the government space, so we’ve been working very closely with government institutions including developer communities.”

To demonstrate the policy here in Nigeria, Mr Waldi Wepener, Regional Director for East, West and Central Africa, stated: “…we are pleased to announce that Yaba College of Technology has become the first university in Nigeria to join the Blackberry Academic Program.”

The Blackberry Academic Program is a support initiative providing education on mobile application development to students and lecturers in over 700 academic institutions across the globe.

The Canadian manufacturer on Tuesday also announced plans to increase local presence, sales, after-sales and customer service in Nigeria, where it has sold over 2 million units of its smartphones.

The Blackberry maker in collaboration with Nigerian mobile phone distributor Slot, has established a sales outpost Blackberry by Slot, in Computer Village – the heart of Lagos’ mobile phone retail centre. According to CP-africa, through the store, RIM will provide Nigerian consumers with “first-class, authentic Blackberry purchasing experience, including free software upgrades.”

RIM , whose Blackberry had a 44 percent share in the competitive U.S. smartphone market in 2009, is looking to scale global market position with the dominance of the rich Nigerian market, following defeat from international competitors, iPhone maker Apple and Samsung.