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Zain Africa Challenge - TV competition with hi tech support

Zain Africa Challenge is the first ever televised academic competition among students at African universities. It is an academic quiz programme involving universities in Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia. The 2009-2010 year is the fourth year of the programme.

PSC and Lotus Software facilitated the auspicious event for Africa's future by creating a communication infrastructure between participants. It deployed a network for email, instant messaging and workflows with Lotus replication accommodating Africa's intermittent Internet connectivity supports efficient collaboration among African and U.S. teammates.

Here is a short review:
The competition involves 16 programmes from the 2010 International Championship which were broadcast throughout Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia and on satellite channels Africa Magic + and Magic World.

New for Season 4 was a viewer's choice poll to select the Zain Player of the Game. The player with the most votes received a $1,000 grant from Zain.
Prizes-wise, grants are based on each university team's final standing in the competition. The further a university's team advances, the larger the grant the university receives. Grants for the individual recipients (four students plus the coach and liaison) are also based on the university team's finish in the tournament. Zain is awarding $1,000,000 USD in total cash, travel grants and educational materials.

Viewers were rewarded too, with the opportunity to win one of 30 Nokia N97 mini handsets each week by playing the SMS Zain Game.

Zain Africa Challenge was broadcast as a knockout tournament, resulting in a final champion; 100 universities competed this season for the Zain Scholars Trophy and a share of over $1,000,000 USD in grants and prizes. In November - January, a National Qualifying Tournament was held in each country. The top 32 teams competed at the International Championship Festival in Kampala, Uganda.

"Zain Africa Challenge is a powerful testimony of the company’s commitment to the advancement of youth talent through its support for education as well as its social and community initiatives. This is what our ‘wonderful world’ of Zain is all about,” said Chris Gabriel, Zain CEO Africa.

The programme is an extension of Zain’s corporate commitment to “A Wonderful World” for their customers.

The questions in this fast-paced quiz programme cover a wide range of topic areas including: history, science, African culture, geography, literature, music and current events. Additionally, Zain Africa Challenge highlights the excellent educational opportunities at African universities with videos and student profiles.

The Ministries of Education in each country along with the Inter-University Council for East Africa (IUCEA) and the National Universities Commision in Nigeria (NUC) are key educational partners in the programme.

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