HP has announced the forthcoming launch of the first Nepad e-school in Uganda at the World Economic Forum Africa Summit in Cape Town.

It is scheduled to take place next month. The Bugulumbya Secondary School in Busobya Village, Uganda, will become the first Nepad e-school on the continent in an ambitious project to provide ICT skills and knowledge to primary and secondary school learners.

“During the last two years, a considerable amount of work has been done in planning the continent-wide project. The launch of the first Nepad e-school is a significant step in realising the vision for African’s renewal as outlined in the Nepad framework and delivering real and tangible results,” says Olivier Suinat, MD of HP Africa.

The scope of the project focuses on providing an end-to-end education solution that will utilise ICT to connect schools to the Nepad e-schools network and the Internet.

In addition to connectivity, solutions will provide content and learning material, as well as establish health points at schools in support of the Nepad e-Health programme.

Schools will be equipped with ICT equipment, including hardware, software, PCs and associated technology.

“The Nepad e-schools initiative will deliver real and tangible results to 600 000 schools across the continent. With high targets set, the initiative will rely heavily on strong private public partnerships between African governments and the participating private sector companies. This type of collaboration between the HP consortium and the Government of Uganda lays an important foundation for the future success of the initiative,” says Isaac Musumba, the Nepad minister of Uganda.

Within each participating country, six secondary schools have been selected from a mix of urban and rural schools, with at least one school per country currently without electricity.

Ongoing evaluation and monitoring will be conducted by Canadian-based organisation, The Commonwealth of Learning, which will evaluate the demonstrated solutions and make recommendations to participating countries on the roll-out of technology solutions to remaining schools.

The e-schools project falls under the auspices of the e-Africa Commission, the Nepad ICT Task Team responsible for developing the Nepad ICT programme and implanting related projects.