THE East African Community has partnered with the One Laptop per Child (OLPC), a non-profit organization whose mission is to help provide every child in the world access to a modern education.
According to the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the EAC and OLPC in Kampala, the two organizations agreed to work together to leverage the advantages of the laptops in transforming primary school education and to promote strategies for better access to laptops and connectivity especially for the region’s underprivileged children.
Speaking at the ceremony to announce the partnership, Juma Mwapachu, the Secretary General of the East Africa Community said, “If you want to build a knowledge economy, you must have a computer-literate population, starting from primary, secondary school children and all the way to university.
This is a very ambitious project for which we will have to partner with various people and institutions to mobilize resources required to meet our objectives by 2015.”
The partnership seeks to deliver 30 million laptops in the region by 2015.
The vice president of OLPC Matt Keller said that OLPC’s partnership with the East Africa Community represents another significant step toward a world in which every child has access to a quality education.
Abdirahim Abdi, the Speaker of East African Legislative Assembly described the signing of the MoU as a success for the regional legislature, which has been at the forefront in pushing for the adoption of Rwanda’s one-laptop-per-child project as an EAC-wide initiative.
The Chairperson of the EAC Council of Ministers, Diodorus Kamala said that the transformation of the world into a global village means that the region must adopt information technology or risk being left out.
“Signing of this MoU will enable the Partner States to start allocating funds towards this noble initiative. The Council of Ministers will urge Partners States to allocate more funds towards education so that the next generation is technology compliant,” Kamala said.