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United for a $100 laptop

Written by Kelsey Sigurdur Sunday, 29 January 2006

The United Nations (UN) has announced support for the One Laptop per Child (OLPC) program, better known as the $100 laptop project.

The project aims to deliver inexpensive notebooks to the governments of developing nations for distribution to schools and students at no cost. The OLPC already has a plan to ship as many as 5 million units by early 2007.

Nicholas Negroponte, chairman of the OLPC and MIT's Media Lab where the laptop was developed, has said that he expects to sell 1 million of the lime green units to Brazil, Thailand, Egypt and Nigeria.

The UN announcement came at the start of the World Economic Forum's annual meeting which took place in Davos, Switzerland, over the weekend.

We are delighted to be part of this venture, which has the potential to break through the digital divide between rich countries and poor countries, said Kemal Dervis, head of the U.N. Development Program. Though the price of access to knowledge has dramatically decreased in recent years, new technologies remain out of reach for most people in developing countries, especially children, who rarely have access to the educational resources that could enhance their opportunities and lift them out of poverty.

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