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The Mozambique Government has signed the NEPAD e-schools Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to become the eighth African signatory.  This was closely followed by Mauritius and Egypt, with the latter becoming the tenth country to sign the MOU.The co-signatories to the MOU include the NEPAD e-Africa Commission, Microsoft and HP.

ImageThe NEPAD e-schools project is aimed at equipping young Africans with ICT skills and knowledge to enable them to compete in the information society and global economy.  Six schools have been selected by the Mozambique Government to participate in the NEPAD e-schools Demonstration Project and the launch of the first NEPAD e-school in Mozambique is expected to take place soon.

Mr. Aires Bonifacio Ali, Mozambique’s Minister of Education and Culture, stressed his Government’s commitment to supporting the NEPAD e-Schools Initiative to ensure that Mozambique was at the same development pace with other countries on the continent.

Developing the National ICT Strategy

The e-schools programme is a NEPAD initiative that is being carried out together with partners HP and Microsoft and will contribute significantly to the country’s ICT strategy for the educational sector and support the Government’s efforts to meet the Millennium Development Goals of reducing poverty.

Professor Peter Kinyanjui, who signed on behalf of NEPAD, highlighted how the NEPAD e-Africa Commission illustrated an innovative public-private partnership.

“Microsoft and HP will provide, deploy and operate appropriate technology solutions to the schools allocated to them,” he stated. “The partners will expedite the deployment of equipment in the schools, train the teachers and provide technical support in preparation for the official launch in Mozambique in the near future”.

Connecting Schools across Africa

The NEPAD e-Schools Project was first announced at the Africa Summit of the World Economic Forum in South Africa in 2003 and focuses on providing ICT solutions that will connect schools across Africa to the NEPAD e-Schools network and the Internet.

To date, Senegal, Uganda, Ghana, Lesotho, Kenya, South Africa and Rwanda have signed up for the programme and, in each country, the programme aims to transform all African secondary schools into NEPAD e-Schools within five years of the implementation start date and all African primary schools within 10 years of implementation.

It is anticipated that more than 600 000 schools across the continent will benefit from ICT and connectivity to the NEPAD e-Schools network once the project is completed.

Microsoft, HP and a number of other private companies are sponsoring the demonstration project which covers six schools in each of the participating countries for 12 months.

Mauritius takes the lead with National Implementation Agency

At the signing of the MOU in Port Louis, Mauritius, the Minister for Education and Human Resources, Mr. D. Gokhool announced that a National Implementation Agency had been set up to ensure the successful implementation of the e-Schools project. Mauritius’s lead in forming an NIA will now be replicated by the other signatories.

At the signing ceremony in Egypt, Dr. Salah Alewa, Director of the Technological Development Decision Support Centre in the Ministry of Education expressed the desire to have the official launch of e-Schools in Egypt as soon as possible.

To date, the countries participating in the programme are: Algeria, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Egypt, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Mali, Mauritius, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa and Uganda.

Source: Nepad Dialogue:Focus on Africa
For more information contact: Samuel Mikenga, Manager,
Public Communications, NEPAD e-Africa Commission
Email: SMikenga@eafricacommission.org
Tel: +27 12 841 4523

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