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The Authority Icon: LEO STAN EKEH

The Authority Icon: LEO STAN EKEH

For his compelling record of incisive entrepre­neurship and vision to computerise Nigeria and creating the most integrated Information Tech­nology Group in the whole of Africa; for being the main driver of digital knowledge democracy in Africa and impacting many poor Nigerians through his knowledge democracy platforms, Leonard “Leo” Stanley Nnamdi Ekeh, OFR, is The AUTHORITY Icon.

A restless dreamer who dared, he envisioned a transformed world for Nigeria and Af­rica driven by Information Communica­tion Technology, ICT. Today, he has actualised this large vision through sheer focus, energy, and stern discipline. He is Dr. Leonard “Leo” Stanley Nnamdi Ekeh, OFR.

He was born on February 22, 1956, in Ubomiri, Mbaitoli, Imo State, to a middle-class family with three brothers and two sisters. His mother was a dietician, and his father, a nurse. Young Ekeh at­tended the Holy Ghost College, Owerri, for his secondary education. He dreamt of owning the biggest transport company in Nigeria.

He later went to India for his university educa­tion, where he received a Bachelor of Science de­gree in Economics, from Punjab University. Ekeh believes that studying in India was “a great turn­ing point in my life because I found the economy of India a realistic economy”. After his university education in India, he opted to study at the Cork City University, Ireland, and later transferred to Nottingham University, UK, earning a degree in risk management.

Through his company Task Systems Limited he was one of the few who pioneered Desktop Pub­lishing and Computer Graphics in Nigeria. He computerized 95% of the Print Media, Publishing Houses and Advertising Agencies in Nigeria. Task Systems Limited, his first company has consistent­ly won outstanding industry Awards as Best Part­ner Award for Compaq, HP, Microsoft, American Power Solution, APC, etc. for 20 years. Ekeh also pioneered IT Solutions in West Africa through his company ITEC Solutions Limited through which he has delivered the largest IT Solutions ever, from an indigenous firm, to the Nigerian corporate market.

He also pioneered IT Distribution in West Afri­ca through Technology Distributions Limited, TD, which has emerged the Number 1 ICT distribu­tion company in West Africa. TD has consistently won for ten years, the highest industry Awards and recognitions for market penetration, revenue, and preferred partner status to become the most deco­rated ICT Distributor in West Africa.

Ekeh scored another first in 2001, when he set up Zinox Technologies Limited, to manufacture Zinox Computers, Nigeria’s first internationally certified branded computers.

His Zinox Computer has some innovative fea­tures, which include - the Naira sign, and a power supply designed to contain the erratic nature of electric power supply in Nigeria. He ensured that at launch Zinox Computers already had the WHQL certification, the first in sub-Saharan Africa, con­solidated five years later with the attainment of the NIS ISO 2000: 9001 QMS Certification. In Octo­ber 2013, the company announced the production of its computer tablet line named Zipad.

Ekeh has a record of incisive entrepreneurship and his vision to computerize Nigeria has rewrit­ten the history of Information Technology in the Third World. He has been the main driver of digi­tal knowledge democracy in Africa. As Chairman of the Zinox Group, he believes one of his legacies is to alter positively the destiny of many poor Ni­gerians through his knowledge democracy plat­forms.

The most integrated Information Technology Group in the whole of Africa, the Zinox Group has shown multiple competencies in manufac­turing, solutions delivery and logistics. The group salvaged the 2006 Voters’ registration ex-ercise by delivering 12,000 systems to INEC in 3 weeks. Again in 2011, under his leadership, the group was responsible for the technology backbone for the 2011 voters’ registration through the supply of 80,000 DDC Machines in 35 days.