Nicholas Negroponte, founder and chairman of the nonprofit association One Laptop per Child says that the key to improve education lies in distributing a $100 laptop to children around the world.
Negroponte, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has founded the computer-distribution program in order to address the shortage of computer access in poor and rural areas of the world. The One Laptop per Child effort parallels some programs of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and other U.S. government agencies. The USAID Digital Freedom Initiative, for example, is a public-private partnership that helps fund Internet connectivity for entrepreneurs and small businesses in the developing world. Negroponte says that this project is about learning, not about laptops. The issue of education is primary for development, peace and other important goals. Negroponte estimates the program will launch with a distribution of at least 5 million computers, and said he hopes to increase that number to 100 million by the second year. Most countries have expressed some level of interest in the program. For now, the program will focus on larger countries for its launch, scheduled for 2007. In Latin America, Argentina and Brazil will host the pilot programs. In Africa, Nigeria and Egypt will be first nations to participate.