Dell Technologies and Microsoft Corporation have signed a memorandum of understanding with Jamii Bora Bank Limited (JBBL) to supply laptops to 30,000 students of tertiary academic institutions in Kenya to the tune of KShs 450 million.

The partnership, initiated by JBBL’s leasing subsidiary, Jamii Bora Leasing Limited, allows Dell Technologies, through its licensed local distributors and resellers to supply the laptops through a leasing arrangement.

Microsoft will provide negotiated Windows 10 and Office software packages under its “Shape the Future” programme for use by students.

Jamii Bora Bank Group Chief Executive, Sam Kimani, said the partnership with the global ICT players was a vote of confidence in the strength and reliability of Kenya’s fastest growing bank.

Kimani said the bank plans to allocate KShs 450million for this leasing arrangement for the purchase of over 10,000 devices within the first year and similar amounts for subsequent years.

“We are in the final stages of signing up a leading private university for the leasing of laptops under this partnership and are in contact with many other institutions of higher learning that have also shown great interest,” said Kimani.

Under the initiative dubbed “Edu-Leasing”, the students will ultimately own the digital devices.

The Dell Kenya Office Site Lead, Mr. Ken Kagota, said: “With the tools at their fingertips, students can choose how to demonstrate what they have learnt beyond a multiple choice test or essay. When integrated into a vision of what learning should be, technology can help educators deliver flexible, on-demand approaches that support individual learning styles and help drive a passion for learning.”

He adds: “We chose to work with JBBL because of its strong foundation in promoting social change through affordable grass-root finance and agility in product development and innovation,” he added.

Dell Technologies is a leading technologies company based in the United States with a local presence in Kenya and comprises Dell, Dell EMC, Pivotal, RSA, Secure Works, Virtustream, and VMware.

Microsoft Kenya Country Manager, Kunle Awosika, said: This project underpins our local and regional programme of improving access to technology, boosting skills and igniting African innovation. Youth make up the highest percentage of Kenya’s population, so it is critical to equip them with the skills required to succeed in the workplace or become entrepreneurs.”

“The ‘Shape the future’ programme that will be available to the students will provide a unique learning experience and in turn help address the issue of preparing students for the workplace. We are excited to partner with JBBL and other partners in bringing this programme to the Kenyan students,” he added.

Under this initiative Jamii Bora Leasing Limited will purchase the devices from Dell’s local distributors and convey possession to the learning institutions in return for rental payments deducted from the students’ school fees.

All partners have put together a joint project taskforce to facilitate seamless collaboration in order to ensure the success of this partnership.