Open access and the developing world – read the latest

Computer Aid recently celebrated
its 10th birthday. To mark the occasion a party was held in the
organisation’s honour. A wide variety of international guests attended the
event, including Lindiwe Mabuza the South African
High Commissioner, Shahid Malik MP from Department for International
Development (DFID) Ambassador of Senegal, the Chair of CND, and the General
Secretary of the TUC.

Speaking at the event, Her Excellency Lindiwe
Mabuza said issues surrounding access to and skills in information technology
are major contributors to economic and social inequality in South Africa.

Shahid Malik also announced on the
evening that DFID would be donating around 1,000 used but functional
laptops to Computer Aid. He said "
DFID
is updating its old laptops, which still have life in them but are not up to
running the software we need to make DFID work efficiently … I’m delighted to
be celebrating Computer Aid’s 10th anniversary. Computer Aid does some great
work in Africa which I’m pleased to support”

Computer Aid is currently
working with several disability organisations
to provide laptops to visually impaired students and teachers in Africa.

As part of the ELPub 2008 Open Scholarship,
Michael Norris, Charles Oppenheim, and Fytton Rowland will present their
findings from their research ‘Open Access Citation Rates and Developing
Countries
’. Norris et al. demonstrate that the impact of open access
research is even greater for developing countries.

Meanwhile, One Laptop Per
Child
(OPLC) has gone Web 2.0. Founder of the OPLC program, Nicholas
Negroponte, recently announced
the next generation of the XO, the $188 pint-sized laptops designed for
schoolchildren in developing countries. At an event at the Massachusetts
Institute of Technology’s Media Lab, Negroponte revealed design photos of
a new version of his low-cost brainchild–what he described as the XO-2.


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