Corruption or Charade? OLPC Ghana XO Laptop Purchase


Ghana is an amazing beacon of democracy in Africa. In their recent elections, John Atta-Mills defeated the then-ruling party candidate to succeed President John Kufuor in a peaceful transition of power - one of the few in Africa. The transition has not been so peaceful for OLPC Ghana, however.

Fighting over XO laptops

The One Laptop Per Child program has be subject to a political review by the new administration, and like in Nigeria and Thailand, the results have not been pretty:

From these five news reports, you can see that the new government is questioning the costs of 1,000 XO laptops donated to Ghana by OLPC during President Kufuor's regime.

While I think the hubbub is the usual post-election positioning, the effect could be stifling to a larger OLPC Ghana deployment. Just check out this declaration by Abdul Hakim Ahmed of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning:

"MOFEP wishes to put on record that although Letters of Credit for the payment of the 10,000 laptops were established, nothing has so far been paid. MOFEP will be working together with the Ministry of Education to pay the OLPC the cost of the 1,000 laptops which have already been cleared and are in the custody of the Ministry of Education. The Ministry will withhold payment for the remaining 9,000 pending a proposed review of the transaction."

Lets hope the review does not have Brazilian results, but it just a post-election hiccup.

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According to this source there are already at least 3000 XOs in Ghana. That is without counting the "private" deployments, OLPCNews reported about some times ago.

Thanks for the link, interesting indeed. Especially the "$250 - $270" cost the entry is mentioning...

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