Nedbank Group and AMD Partner to Narrow the Digital Divide in South Africa
Nedbank Group and Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (NYSE: AMD) today announced a 50x15 partnership to jointly deploy innovative technology solutions across five schools in historically underserved South African communities in the form of 50x15 learning labs.
The companies unveiled the first of the fully-equipped computing centres today at the Nelson R. Mandela High School in Gugulethu. Learning Labs, a concept pioneered by AMD, are customized, measurable deployments of technology solutions that not only provide constituents with Internet access but also educational, personal and professional development tools that unlock new and powerful ways for students to collaborate with their teachers.
Nelson R. Mandela High School was selected as the first of several schools that will implement Learning Labs, based on its strong vision and the ability to provide lasting impact to the broader Gugulethu community.
“We are confident that this learning lab and the others to follow it will greatly enhance the local educational system’s ability to provide students with the skills and information they need to achieve success in an increasingly competitive, digital world,” said Tom Boardman, chief executive officer, Nedbank South Africa. “We see this partnership as another innovative way to meet the needs of South African communities and level the playing field via technology so that those in the developing world can compete effectively with their global counterparts.”
The Nelson R. Mandela computing centre and others like it around the world all play a key role in the 50x15 Initiative, an effort launched by AMD at the 2004 World Economic Forum Annual Meeting to enable affordable Internet connectivity and computing capability for 50 percent of the world’s population by the year 2015.
“Nedbank was an obvious choice as our South African 50x15 partner as both organisations are passionate about education and leveraging technology to improve people’s lives,” said Gautam Srivastava, vice president of sales and marketing and managing director of the Middle East, Africa, and Pakistan, AMD. “The positive effects of the learning labs extend beyond the students and teachers at the schools and into the greater community by providing an incredible community resource for educational and economic development opportunities.”
From science experiments to the latest geography maps to medicinal studies, technology provides teachers with access to a wealth of information via the internet. The learning labs also serve as a cost-effective means to maintain a current curriculum, a challenge teachers have historically faced due to aging textbooks. In previous deployments, access to the Internet has encouraged students to stay enrolled in school longer and to embark on digital learning expeditions.
Similar to previous 50x15 deployments, the Nelson R. Mandela computing centre follows AMD’s proven learning lab methodology, which includes providing tools, techniques and training to maximize educational impact. The successes and lessons learned in Gugulethu will be leveraged by the Nedbank-AMD 50x15 partnership in future deployments across South Africa in the coming months. In addition, to facilitate future deployments worldwide and to bring all 50x15 partners closer to achieving the initiatives’ goal, the successes and lessons learned in Gugulethu will be documented and made available online as a 50x15 learning lab capsule.
Learning lab deployments follow best practices for an effective school ICT solution. The labs feature a holistic, comprehensive infrastructure comprised of compact, sealed, ultra-low power IT hardware designed to cope with the unique local challenges of the environment. The systems are able to run the latest operating systems including Windows Starter Edition, Windows XP Pro and Linux. The labs also come equipped with content and applications; a local area network; Internet connectivity; a teacher-training programme; maintenance and support; and a sustainability plan. Additionally, this Learning Lab includes support from a broad ecosystem of partners including Microsoft, Cisco, Tarsus, First for Business, CompuTainer @tlantic and Learnthings.
To learn more about the 50x15 initiative please visit http://www.50x15.com.
The 50x15 Initiative, launched by AMD at 2004 at the World Economic Forum, is a bold and far-reaching effort to develop new technology and solutions that will help enable affordable, accessible Internet connectivity and computing capabilities for 50 percent of the world’s population by the year 2015. More than just goodwill, 50x15 is about fostering long-term economic progress and investment within high-growth markets in ways that benefit a wide range of people and businesses. For more information, visit www.50x15.com.
Advanced Micro Devices (NYSE: AMD) is a leading global provider of innovative processing solutions in the computing, graphics and consumer electronics markets. AMD is dedicated to driving open innovation, choice and industry growth by delivering superior customer-centric solutions that empower consumers and businesses worldwide. For more information, visit www.amd.com.
About Nedbank Group
Nedbank Group is one of the four largest banking groups in South Africa. The group offers a wide range of wholesale and retail banking services including corporate and retail banking, property finance, investment banking, private banking, foreign exchange, and securities trading. Nedbank Group also generates income from private equity, credit card acquiring and processing services, custodial services, collective investments, trust administration, asset management services and bancassurance.
Nedbank Group has committed more that R1 billion over the next three years to increase its distribution network, making banking more accessible to all South Africans. In support of this the Nedbank Foundation will spread its CSI spend more evenly across all the nine provinces with the objective to ‘make things happen ’ in all the communities where Nedbank is represented.
About Nedbank Foundation
The Nedbank Foundation undertakes the majority of the group’s corporate social investment (CSI) activities. Over the last 10 years it has contributed R272 million to hundreds of projects across South Africa.
The Nedbank Foundation focuses on supporting community projects that are both empowering and sustainable in the following developmental areas:
Education – assistance to a variety of school-based educational projects, early-childhood development, rural-school refurbishment and support for teacher training initiatives.
Community development – support for HIV and Aids initiatives, children’s homes, hunger and disaster relief, and non-profit organisations that serve vulnerable groups.
Economic development – Support for a variety of skills development and enterprise development projects.
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