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Last Updated: Wednesday, 11 October 2006, 16:08 GMT 17:08 UK
Libyan pupils 'to have laptops'

Kofi Annan and Nicholas Negroponte
Nicholas Negroponte intends to make millions of the machines
The government of Libya is reported to have agreed to provide its 1.2 million school children with a cheap durable laptop computer by June 2008.

The laptops offer internet access and are powered by a wind-up crank. They cost $100 and manufacturing begins next year, says One Laptop per Child.

The non-profit association's chairman, Nicholas Negroponte, said the deal was reached on Tuesday in Libya.

But Libyan officials or media have not commented on the reported deal.

Professor Negropointe told the New York Times in an email that the project mirrored Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi's political agenda of creating a more open Libya and he also expressed interest in purchasing the computers for poorer African neighbours.

The foldable lime green laptop made its debut a year ago at the World Summit on the Information Society.

It can be used as a conventional computer, or an electronic book. The computers will be covered in rubber to make them extra-tough, and have a power cable that also acts as a carrying strap.

"The idea is that it fulfils many roles. It is the whole theory that learning is seamless," said Professor Negroponte, who set up the non-profit One Laptop Per Child group to sell the laptops to developing nation governments.

They say they already have tentative purchase agreements with four other developing nations.

UN debut for $100 laptop for poor
17 Nov 05 |  Technology
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16 Nov 05 |  Technology

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