Libya or China to Donate OLPC's?


From the very beginning, Nicholas Negroponte has put forth the idea that developing world governments would buy the One Laptop Per Child $100 laptop CM1 2B1 XO Children's Machine. That the now $208 million dollar minimum laptop purchase price would replace school book outlays in national budgets.

Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo

Our number crunching of the education budget for Argentina and the whole national budget of Nigeria, two of the richer OLPC target countries disproves that notion quite easily - a one laptop per child computer purchase would bankrupt most of the populous developing world countries.

So if developing countries cannot afford a full OLPC purchase, who will step up to buy the OLPC's for countries who want a shiny green laptop now that Quanta confirmed production?

Sources tell me that developing country governments have already asked bilaterals, like the United States Agency for International Development and the Canadian International Development Agency, for funding and were turned down. While they may be representing rich countries, the bilaterals don't have a spare $200+ million for Negroponte's grand technology plan.

Sources also tell me that the multilaterals like the World Bank and the United Nations are approached daily by developing would countries asking for multi-million dollar OLPC technology transfers. Rebuffed there too, Ministries seduced by Negroponte's pitch are looking at other options for $200 million dollar fund raising.

And where might an Angola or a Democratic Republic of Congo turn for techo-largess?

Libya's Muammar al-Qaddafi
Libya! They have already offered to buy OLPC computers for their neighbors. And China! They are about to host a China-Africa Cooperation summit, the highest-level, largest-scale meeting between China and African leaders since the founding of the People's Republic of China and a perfect platform to announce African aid.

Regardless of your opinion of the One Laptop Per Child program, do you really want countries like Libya or China donating educational tools to the developing world? Might there be a slight conflict of interest if Libya, who once even invaded Chad, were to now donate educational technology to Chad? Might China, which produces the OLPC XO Children's Machine in Qaunta Computer's Changshu factory, be a little disingenuous in donating computers it will not buy for its own populace?

Might it be best for any country interested in the One Laptop Per Child program to start small - implementing an affordable limited pilot program of a few hundred computers first. And then rolling the program out slowly, only when OLPC's prove their long-term benefit to both students and budgets?

Might that be way too much to ask when Ministries are blinded by techno-lust and a "cheap" techno-fix?

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From reading it looks like piecemeal adoption would not appeal to OLPC.

I do not want china buying school etools. Look at how they censor and then deny censorship:

Dear Ladies and gentlemen,
The Palestinians are facing unparalleled challenges for peace, peace Education. How will we deal with issues such as the increasing demand for peace, peace education, Palestinian ageing populations and the socioeconomic challenges and opportunities brought about by advance information e-Learning technology?

The key to addressing many of these challenges is and will increasing become innovation, innovation for peace.

The key is a critical for building understanding, respect, trust and partnerships between Palestinian and Neighbors for Peace education process Through One Laptop Per child computer project. We need 500,000 One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) Computers for Palestinian and Neighbors students.


Looking forward to hearing from

Dr. Fouad M. EL-Harazin, Director
International Programs of the National Research Center;
Partnerships-Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)-
Extended Middle East e-Learning; and
President, Gaza International Foundation for Peace on Earth (GIFPE)
Gaza City, Palestinian Authority
P. O. Box: 5340
Tel/Fax: 00 970 8 282- 4157
Mobile: 00 970 599 33- 44-13
[email protected]

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