[WSIS CS-Plenary] FW: International Workshop on Campaign for 1M PCs for African Schools
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Fri Oct 8 14:29:10 BST 2004
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Press Release Johannesburg, SA. 7 October 2004
International Workshop on Campaign for 1 Million PCs for African Schools with United Nations founded organization in Johannesburg, South Africa
SchoolNet Africa (SNA), in partnership with the Global eSchools and Communities Initiative (GESCI) founded by the UN ICT Task Force, the Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa (OSISA) and the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) will host an international workshop on the Campaign for 1 Million PCs for African Schools in Johannesburg, South Africa on 13 and 14 October 2004.
Senior representatives from the private, civil society and public sectors will attend the workshop. Schoolnet practitioners and representatives of ministries of education from 11 African countries will be present as well as representatives from organizations like Free Geek Inc, Computer Aid International, Shuttleworth Foundation, SchoolNet South Africa, NEPAD eSchools, the Dutch and Finnish Embassy, Ungana Afrika, Direqlearn, Microsoft, DFIDs CATIA Programme and HP.
The International Workshop was called to discuss a full end-to-end implementation plan for the Campaign for 1 Million PCs for African Schools. This plan will include how best to source PCs, build capacity , establish targeted refurbishment centers as education solutiono providers and dispose of end-of-life PCs in environmentally-responsible ways.
The Workshop will review the most recent research findings on total cost of ownership, case studies and African schoolnet experiences with imported second-hand PCs which have been commissioned by a range of donor and development agencies such as the IDRC, the IICD, the Commonwealth of Learning and the DFIDs CATIA Programme,. These research findings highlight a number of critical conceptual issues for debate and will provide guidance to the planning process.
A crucial part of the conference however, will focus on how SchoolNet Africa and its Campaign partners could reach the target of securing the first 200 000 PCs to reach an estimated 20 000 African schools in 15 countries; how it will reach the target of training 200 African schoolnet practitioners (of which 40% will be women) and the establishment of 10 Technical Service Centres over the next two years.
Ambassador Astrid Dufborg of GeSCI says History has shown us that development
in Africa is only achieved when led by Africans. In our field providing and using technology in schools - SchoolNet Africa is proven as the kind of leadership that is needed. The 1 Million PC's for African Schools Campaign is a step up to a new level of ambition which we at GeSCI fully support.
For more information, please contact Ms Sara Kyofuna at s.kyofuna at schoolnetafrica.org
About SchoolNet Africa [www.schoolnetafrica.net]
SchoolNet Africa is one of the first African-led, African-based non-government organisations that aims to improve education access, quality and efficiency through the use of ICTs in African schools. SchoolNet Africa works with learners, teachers, policymakers and practitioners through country-based schoolnet organisations across the continent.
About Global eSchools and Communities Initiative (GESCI) [www.gesci.org]
GeSCI was established in recognition of the vital role that education plays in creating long-term, sustainable development. Information and Communication Technologies for Education (ICT4E) is a catalyst for improved education, community empowerment and socio-economic growth. GeSCI partners with developing countries to facilitate the development of national education strategies, which are based on end-to-end ICT4E solutions. In addition, GeSCI provides implementation assistance, funding guidance, centralised procurement, capacity building and knowledge sharing solutions.
The founding members of GeSCI are the United Nations, the governments of Switzerland, Canada, Sweden, Ireland, the firm McKinsey & Company and NGO SchoolNet Africa. GeSCI was launched at the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) 2003 by Madame Nane
About the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) [www.idrc.ca]
The International Development Research Centre was founded in 1970 as a public corporation created and funded by the Parliament of Canada based on the conviction that development starts when communities in the South are able to take responsibility for their growth, using their own ideas and initiatives. IDRC supports the work of scientists and researchers in developing countries, In essence, the Centre support innovation from within the South creative solutions to development problems that work in local conditions and that are effective over the long run. In so doing, the IDRC also strengthens the overall capability of researchers and research institutions to generate policies and technologies that can help create more equitable societies.
The driving force of the Centres programming are its program initiatives. Each of these initiatives focuses on a specific set of development issues and is managed by a team of experts from a broad range of disciplines. The funding for this project comes from the Information Communication Technologies for Development (ICT4D) programme area in Africa, the Acacia Programme.
About the Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa (OSISA) [www.osisa.org]
The Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa is a non-profit foundation established in 1997 by investor and philanthropist George Soros. OSISA is part of an informal network of 30 autonomous foundations located in Eastern and Central Europe, the former Soviet Union, West Africa, South Africa, Guatemala, Haiti and other parts of the world. The foundations share a common mission of developing more open societies through support to a range of programmes in education, media, human rights, civil society as well as social, legal and economic reform
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