WORLD
May 2006

WORLD

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A digital inclusion program in Ghana to bridge the divide
The Ministry of Communication of Ghana, in collaboration with Intel and Microsoft, has introduced a digital inclusion progamme to assist and advance in information society. In pursuit of this, Intel and Microsoft  have jointly  howcased their plans for personal computers (PCs) designed  and built specifically for the local markets. The digital inclusion would  boost the PC home ownership scheme and would introduce affordable,  locally assembled PCs onto the market. It provides a great opportunity to bridge the divide.
Digital inclusion would lead to a change in the quality of life for the people. This progamme would be a key to attain the targets that the world  has set for itself in the millennium development goals.

Online Training Postgraduate Programme in a college of Ethiopia
The College of Telecommunications and Information Technology is going to launch the first-ever online training programme at postgraduate diploma level in Ethiopia this year to meet the demands of Information  Communications Technology professionals.  The programme is going to be started form next July as the regular training. The programme in different areas of  ICT and telecom would enable students to take the courses in their  own time by accessing the training materials in textual and video content  form. The regular training programmes are offered in the fields of telecom  Ministry to reward teachers who develop computer software

The Ministry of Education and Sports in   Ghana has initiated a special best teachers award for teachers who will develop computer  software for various subjects this year.
The move was part of the government’s efforts to promote information and  communication technology (ICT) in schools in the country; the prize for the
award had already been donated by Microsoft Corporation. By the end of next
month, the government and INTEL would launch the first phase online resource for the teaching of mathematics and science for junior secondary schools (JSS) in the country.
engineering and information technology at MSc levels, and Master of Business Administration (MBA) in telecom in order to move the telecom industry of the country with the pace of the changing technology.

400 cities worldwide planning to deploy municipal broadband networks
There are over 400 cities worldwide planning to deploy municipal broadband networks and the number will double in 2006, making community  broadband initiatives a very real and significant trend. That is the  finding of the latest report, Municipal Broadband Networks: Market impact and implications, 2006-2011, published by industry research firm  Visiongain. As of first quarter 2006, there are over 100 city and regional wireless  broadband networks  perational  worldwide, more than 40 of which are in the US. For a large number of reasons, municipalities are  considering the concept of a  Municipal  roadband Network as the  utility. These communities are choosing between deploying fibre and a wireless broadband network  using Wi-Fi hotspots, mesh  networks  or pre-WiMAX technology.  Semapedia – the physical wikipedia  ntroduced to Africa The Ghana-India Kofi Annan Centre  of Excellence in ICT  ntroduced the  Semacode technology and the

Semapedia application to a segment of  the Ghanaian  public.
Introduced for the first time in Africa, the Semapedia is an application of the
vast information available on the Wikipedia and the simple yet practical URL barcode, called the Semacode. With the Semacode approach, all it  now takes is for an ordinary camera phone, equipped with a Semacode  reader software  ackage (available  free of charge by pointing your mobile phone web browser to the ‘over the  air’ distribution. The idea was to bring the amazing knowledge from the wikipedia to places in the real world where it matters. It is rare to find African created technology being used today in  Western cyberspace so this event is indeed a laudable step forward for  African technology as well as an indication of the benefits of collaborative development based on liberal software licensing such as open source software that can arise  from further North/South private sector partnerships.

Intel lands in Lagos
Components giant Intel has once again demonstrated its zeal for targeting new markets, opening an office in Nigeria to serve the West  African market. Intel plans to increase its presence in West Africa and  enhance support for resellers,
integrators and channel members. Intel was also involved in a number of  digital transformation initiatives  including the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with the Ministry of Education to further  the cause of integrating modern IT into the country’s education  strategies. Intel is also finalising details of its ‘Teach to the Future’  programme in Nigeria. An open source, multi-platform  software for digitising libraries The Greenstone Digital Library had introduced by John B. Rose of the  University of Waikato at the British Council, which is produced in the

University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand.
The advantage of digital libraries is that they provide access to and storage of multimedia and allow for cooperative input. The software has  provision for multi-lingual interfaces and data entry. Hindi and Kannada  databases have been created by some of the Indian users. The Indian  Institute of Management, Kozhikode, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore,  Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, and the Archives of Indian  Labour are among the institutions that  have put the software to use. The Greenstone software is available at  www.greenstone.org and the digital library of the University of Waikato at  www.nzdl.org.

Sharing of Free intellectual Assets (SOFIA)
Sofia Open Content Initiative: Content  for eight courses is now available online for free through the Sofia open  content initiative, thanks to the joint contributions of faculty, The William   Flora Hewlett Foundation,  California and Foothill-De Anza Community College District, and can  now be accessed at the Course Gallery (http://sofia.fhda.edu/  gallery).  The Sofia finalists include the courses in Creative Typography, Elementary  Statistics, Physical Geography (http:// sofia.fhda.edu/), Free High School  Science Texts (http://www.nongnu.
org/fhsst/index.html), California Open  Source Textbook Project (http:// www.opensourcetext.org/).  Becta school website to bring transformation in teaching

The British Educational  Communications and Technology
Agency (Becta) will reduce the number of online services and brands it provides for schools in response to the Department for Education and  Skills five-year strategy and e- Strategy, ‘Harnessing Technology’.  Over the coming months some changes would be seen in Becta’s  online presence. This includes the  news, features and school website directory. The aim is to work towards a position where teachers should be  able to work from any Internet access  point at any time, linked to the tools and learning services they need in  order to plan, prepare, manage and follow up learning experiences for  their students. The site provides online curriculum, which features  multimedia resources to support teaching and learning.

e-Book offerings from Sony Electronics and Borders Inc
Sony Electronics and Borders Inc  have declared a joint venture of a reading device for e-Books and text documents, available through about  200 Borders stores in the United States.  The Sony Reader will debut in Borders and more than 30 Sony Style stores around the country as well as  online at www.sonystyle.com. The  reader will allow active readers to carry as much as they want to read  whether they are travelling on the road or just around the corner. The device can store hundreds of books  and other documents using a
combination of internal flash memory and optional Memory Stick or Secure  Digital (SD) flash memory cards.

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