Président de la Commission de l’Union Africaine (depuis le 1er. février 2008)
The project is a joint venture of the Mauritian Government, Cisco Consortium, Microsoft Consortium, and NEPAD e-Africa Commission. The launch, which covers six schools across the country, makes Mauritius the eighth country to launch the project after Uganda, Ghana , Lesotho, Kenya, Rwanda, Egypt and South Africa.
Said the Prime Minister : “In Mauritius, we started the initiative to make this country a ‘Cyber Island’. The NEPAD e-Schools project is therefore very welcome as it fits very well with my government’s vision to propagate an ICT culture and facilitate the emergence of an information and knowledge-based society, and to reduce the digital divide.
“The NEPAD e-Schools Project is a showcase of fruitful private-public sector partnership to the benefit of our children. I would like to assure you that my government will do everything it can to support this project, to enable access to information technology by all.”
The Prime Minister encouraged more companies to join the “noble cause of bridging the digital divide that threatens to leave Africa behind in development”.
The NEPAD e-Schools Project falls under the auspices of the NEPAD e-Africa Commission - the NEPAD/African Union information and communication technology task team responsible for developing the NEPAD ICT programme and implementing related projects.
First announced in 2003 at the Africa Summit of the World Economic Forum in Durban, South Africa, the e-Schools project focuses on providing end-to-end ICT solutions that will connect schools across Africa to the NEPAD e-Schools network and the Internet. It also includes the provision of content and learning material and the establishment of health points at schools.
Said Dr Henry Chasia, Executive Deputy Chairperson of the NEPAD e-Africa Commission, “The vision of the NEPAD e-schools, is :
to make all learners in African schools ICT literate by installing ICT equipment in these schools,
connecting the schools to the Internet,
training pre-service and in-service teachers in the use of ICT,
supporting efficiently managed schools by training school administrators in the use of ICT,
contributing to the acquisition and exchange of educational content across our continent,
and equipping each school with a health point to serve as a source of health information as well as undertake specific health interventions as may be required.
“We have the vision to graduate from our schools all across the continent, strong in body and mind, young men and women who, as our future citizens, will participate as equals in the global information society and knowledge economy of the 21st century ; young men and women, who will harness the promise of this technology for the development of our countries and lead our continent to a future of peace and prosperity.”
Dr Chasia said that continental coordination will ensure the achievement and sharing of best practice, common standards and unified technical specifications which will, in turn, facilitate collective negotiations and bulk procurement of services from suppliers.
This is expected to result in significant cost savings for individual schools and thus make the project more affordable and sustainable for the different governments and communities.
The Prime Minister was accompanied at the launch by high-ranking Mauritian Government officials, including the Minister of Education and Human Resources, Dr Dharam Gokhool, three other Ministers, diplomats, development partners, private sector representatives, officials of the participating companies and representatives from NEPAD and the African Union..
The NEPAD e-Schools Initiative aims to transform African secondary schools into NEPAD e-Schools within five years of implementation start date and all African primary schools within 10 years of implementation start date. In total, more than 600 000 schools across the continent will enjoy the benefits of ICT and connectivity to the NEPAD e-Schools satellite network on completion of the project.
The countries participating in this demonstration project are : Algeria, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Egypt , Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Mali, Mauritius, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa and Uganda. Source : nepad, may 15, 2007