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 Saturday, 06 February 2010

The African Virtual University (AVU) is a Pan African Intergovernmental Organization whose aim is to significantly increase access to quality higher education and training through the innovative use of information communication technologies.

 As an African organization, the AVU has a mandate to increase access for tertiary education and training using Open Distance and eLearning (ODeL) methodologies.

 Over its 13 years of existence, the AVU has trained more than 40,000 students, has established 53 centers in 27 countries, and has acquired the largest of Open Distance and e-Learning (ODeL) network in Africa. Its greatest asset is its ability to work across borders and language groups in Anglophone, Francophone and Lusophone Africa conflict and post-conflict zones. In Somalia, AVU has graduated 4,000 students, 30% of whom are women.

The AVU has more than 50 Partner Institutions in more than 27 countries in Africa. The following orange-colored countries are host to current AVU partner institutions across Africa:

The AVU headquarters is situated in Nairobi, Kenya and a regional office is based in Dakar, Senegal in West Africa.

Source: African Virtual University

The Portuguese government is providing educational PCs to school children receiving basic education -- equivalent to elementary school -- in a memorandum of understanding with Intel Corporation. The Magellan Initiative, a program under Portugal’s education technology plan, targeted to deliver a half million computers based on the Intel-powered classmate PC to Portuguese children in the year 2009. The Magellan Initiative complements Portugal’s successful year-old e-School project, which provides educational notebooks and Internet access to teachers and students for the secondary level of school education.

The full-featured student laptop is specially developed by Intel for education. Regarded as the ‘rugged little laptops’ Intel’s Classmate PC comes in various versions in various developing countries, with educational softwares and high-speed internet connectivity options, designed especially for school children. The laptop is distributed in more than 50 countries. In addition to the Classmate PCs, Intel will serve as Portugal's technology adviser for the Magellan Initiative and currently plans to create a “Competence Centre” in Portugal to expand the use of mobile PCs and Internet access and use that knowledge to replicate pilot projects in other countries. Recently, Venezuelan government has also signed an agreement with Portugal that will bring 1 million low-cost Magellan notebooks to the South American country.

Link for Video about Magellan initiative in Portugal

Sources: Intel news release, Technology blog