AMD’s 50x15 Initiative Expands Educational Opportunities in Uganda
AMD shows power of the ecosystem approach; Teams with more than 15 organizations to narrow the digital divide in Africa
Sunnyvale, Calif. -- August 4, 2006 --A consortium led by AMD (NYSE: AMD) today launched three digital inclusion programs in schools in and around Kampala, the capital city of Uganda. As part of the 50x15 Initiative, AMD is collaborating with the Ugandan Government, the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) and 13 additional organizations as part of the company’s commitment to connect 50 percent of the world’s population to the Internet by the year 2015. Led by African Heads of State and the African Union, NEPAD’s e-Schools Programme is aimed at equipping all African schools with ICT tools to ensure African youth graduate with the skills necessary to fully participate in the information society and knowledge economy.
“It is imperative that we continue to provide our students and teachers with Internet access and computing capabilities to enhance their educational experiences here in Uganda,” said Minister of Education Namirembe Bitamazire. “The effects of these deployments will be felt by students and teachers alike immediately. It is our hope that these technology solutions will help empower students with the skills and knowledge they need to achieve great success in the digital world.”
The AMD-led consortium is responsible for three of more than 100 secondary schools playing host to NEPAD’s e-Schools Demonstration Project – a critical initial step in the continental implementation of the NEPAD e-Schools Initiative. The success of the deployments comes as a result of aggregating a complete ecosystem of local, regional and global technology organizations in addition to NGOs and governments that provide hardware, software and infrastructure expertise, complemented by the schools’ governing boards, principals, teachers, administrators and students. Through these deployments and the overall NEPAD Initiative, teaching, learning and administration at these schools are all enhanced. Students and teachers are empowered with ICT skills and knowledge and digital resources enable an overall increase in health literacy. The added technology also facilitates increased efficiency in the schools’ management and administration systems.
“A fundamental goal of AMD’s 50x15 Initiative is to ensure that technology in the classroom becomes as pervasive and ordinary as pencil and paper for students in Uganda and around the world,” said Gustavo Arenas, corporate vice president, high-growth markets, AMD. “With less than one percent of Uganda’s population connected to the Internet, this is a positive step toward empowering Ugandans with the benefits available from access to the digital world.”
Two solutions from the growing 50x15 technology portfolio have already been deployed in the Ugandan schools. Rugged, virus and spyware-resistant Personal Internet Communicators (PICs) provide students at a secondary school in Kampala with computing capabilities and Internet access. In Mityana, a town about 90 minutes west of Kampala, and Luwero, a town about two hours north of Kampala, Inveneo low-power devices based on the Wyse thin-client solution enable students with similar capabilities.
Namirembe Bitamazire, Uganda’s Minister of Education presided over the launch event today, with many teachers, students and parents from the schools also in attendance. The AMD-led Consortium helped prepare the secondary school teachers to use the new classroom technology during a special training session held earlier this week.
The AMD NEPAD consortium includes Agile Learning, Asbis, Cisco, Computainer, I Direct, InterSat Africa, Inveneo, Learnthings, Microsoft, Multichoice Africa, and NewSkies Satellites. In addition to the consortium, these particular deployments also include involvement by Linux Solutions and BushNet, both Ugandan IT and connectivity companies.
AMD’s 50x15 Initiative is a bold and far-reaching effort to develop new business models and technology solutions to enable affordable Internet access and computing capability for 50 percent of the world’s population by the year 2015. With the global population estimated to reach 7.2 billion people in 2015, there is tremendous potential for 50x15 to bring billions of people into the digital age.
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