A release from Google announcing “partnerships” with Rwandan Ministry of Infrastructure and the Kenya Education Network which allows them to use Google Apps free of charge makes much of the deal.
Students in both African countries as well as Rwandan government officials will have access to free communications tools including email, shared calendars, instant messaging and word processing under their institutions’ domain names.
Rwandan Minister of State for Energy and Communications, The Hon Albert Butare, said: “This partnership will be a boost in terms of services offered to our Rwandan Academic Institutions, allowing them to collaborate in their learning activities. Furthermore, I believe communication between students and their lecturers will be enhanced as users throughout the country will now be using the same state-of-the-art, cutting edge technology that is available in other parts of the world.”
All well and good, but, as Google’s own Apps site makes clear, Google Apps Education Edition is free anyhow. I’m sure they are loosening their own rules a bit to round out the deal, but it does sounds a bit like the PR bandwagon rolling on….
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