In an Op-Ed in Uganda’s Independent, Andrew Mwenda notes that Rwanda has set itself apart from its neighboring countries in almost every field; including with its tremendous fiberoptic network and olpc laptop program. “building one of the most promising platforms of democratic expression”. He notes:
Kagame has predicated his presidency on performance by his government. Hence, the delivery of public goods and services to all its citizens regardless of their station in life… It is Kagame’s political genius and greatest achievement and is unrivalled in post-independence Africa. But equally it is the greatest source of frustration among elites.
The article is worth a read.
Meanwhile, Rodrigo is in Rwanda this week to thank President Kagame for his amazing work in supporting OLPC for all children in the country, and to learn from the program there.
Nagorno-Karabakh is a landlocked region which seceded from Azerbaijan in 1991, and has been engaged in a low-grade military conflict involving Azerbaijan and Armenia ever since. Recently they have launched a New Education Project to improve primary education across the region.
Many of the children in the region have schools, and some have internet access. This week, they launched a small OLPC project, deploying laptops to 3,300 students in 16 connected primary schools in the cities of Stepanakert (the region’s capital), Shushi, and Karin Tak.
Vladik Khachatryan, Minister of Education and Science of Nagorno-Karabakh, was present at the launch. He announced,
This program will improve the quality of education of elementary school students in the NKR, and what is more important, will make more information available to them and their families… within a short period of time we will be able to establish equal educational opportunities in all NKR.
Education is a key factor to breaking the vicious cycle of ethnic hatred and violence for children who live in conflict zones.
I look forward to seeing the project develop, and hope that the recent focus on children and education brings stability and peace to the region.
Sandra Barragán posted a photoset from Rodrigo’s visit to Colombia yesterday.
And the Fargo team develops some game-like projects around Physics and Etoys.
OLPC Rwanda has recently spruced up their website, including a list of documents they use for running classes with XOs, and links to their active local blogs. They’ve also started their own twitter stream – where you can follow Rodrigo’s current visit with Kagame and the national team. You can sign up to volunteer from afar, and can leave them feedback via twitter, or on Julia’s or Rwagaju’s blogs.
Rodrigo spoke last week at the Indian Institute of Management Bangalore (IIMB), on “Children as a Mission not as a Market”.