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Kenya Namibia Subsidised Internet Access for Schools And Other Institutions

Date: 12/16/2007 11:51:37 PM

Telecom Namibia and the Xnet Development Alliance Trust announced sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to provide subsidized Internet access to more than 1 500 schools as well as other educational establishments in Namibia.

The partnership will support and enhance the provision of affordable, subsidised Internet to schools and educational institutions affordable prices.

The director of Namibia Telecoms, Mr Frans Ndoroma and the chairperson of Xnet Trust, Dr. Tjama Tjivikua signed the partnership and agreed that it was a "landmark" in the struggle to bridge the digital divide.

Dr. Tjivikua also highlighted the pivotal role that ICTs play in the development of nations, saying, "This is a landmark agreement as it breaks new ground. ICT is an absolute requirement in the modern economy. ICT is an enabler and facilitator for growth and knowledge transfer. It brings technology closer to the people and allows them to contribute to the democratisation of ICT in Namibia."

"Telecom Namibia are excited about the signing of this agreement which, we rightly believe, will have farreaching ramifications for an accelerated rollout of ICT services to the Xnet Trust beneficiaries," said Mr. Ndoroma.

"By signing this agreement we commit ourselves to contributing substantially to the achievement of Xnet Trust?s vision and mission,? he added.

Mr. Ndoroma also described the partnership with Xnet Trust as a unique example of the way that corporate social responsibility could be linked to community and government initiatives to the advantage of society.

He said Telecom Namibia is confident that this innovative partnership will make a strong and longlasting impact in an area of priority for Namibia. He however emphasised the fact that ICT access remains only part of a wider value chain required in order to deliver ICT products and services to society, such as a supportive educational system, proper accommodation, healthy learners and teachers, grid electricity especially in remote areas and the support of computer equipment.

Xnet Trust was formed as a partnership between SchoolNet Namibia and Telecom Namibia in April 2004 as a vehicle that would provide affordable bandwidth connectivity to a variety of social sectors (such as agriculture, education, health, SME etc).

Observers see this as the first effort towards Universal Access in Namibia.

There are currently 130 schools benefiting from the Xnet Trust.

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