Microsoft Corporation and The Dubai Cares charity campaign yesterday joined forces in a landmark initiative to enable children in developing countries to enter the digital age by providing them with the latest technology in education.
The Dubai Cares-Microsoft Digital Initiative was announced during a special signing ceremony attended by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates.
The joint digital initiative will provide access to technology to develop the knowledge and skills necessary for the 21st century workplace for students, teachers and communities within the next five years.
The programme seeks to raise the level of computer literacy in developing communities and help teachers foster a culture of innovation among students.
According to Mohammed Al Gergawi, UAE Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs and Chairman of the Executive Office in Dubai Government: “Dubai Cares seeks to be a forerunner of knowledge, dispelling the darkness of ignorance by giving needy children in poor countries hope for their future and opportunities to break the cycle of poverty. Only through education can they assume their rightful position as positive contributors to society.”
“This partnership with Dubai Cares grows out of our belief that the public and private sectors must work together to foster economic growth,” said Bill Gates. “We look forward to working with Dubai Cares.”
Abu Dhabi and Microsoft to boost infotech co-operation
General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, yesterday met Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates.
During the meeting in Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Mohammed hoped Gates’ presence in the UAE would present an opportunity to exchange points of view and to identify means of co-operation as well as boost relations between Microsoft and the Abu Dhabi Government and the private sector.
The two sides reviewed the growth witnessed by the emirate under the leadership of the President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ruler of Abu Dhabi. The country aims to achieve sustainable development and to consolidate the UAE’s and Abu Dhabi’s position through the employment of modern technology to help the government update its services.
Microsoft’s contribution through various scientific, educational and training initiatives was praised by Sheikh Mohammed.
He expressed hope the initiatives would narrow the digital and scientific gap between countries of the world and secure alternatives that would close the divide between advanced and poor countries.
Bill Gates praised the UAE Government’s efforts to establish a solid base and provide an environment to support the information technology sector in the region.
He welcomed the conclusion of bilateral partnerships and alliances to boost the contribution of the IT sector to the development of the UAE.
Microsoft to give $235m for school project
Microsoft will give $235.5 million (Dh864.3m) to fund its Partners in Learning project for another five years.
The scheme provides schools and teachers with resources and training to help students reach their full potential. Arab countries that have benefited include Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt and Qatar.
The announcement of the extra funding was made in Abu Dhabi yesterday at the Government Leaders Forum Arabia 2008.
Microsoft launched the project in 2003 as part its Unlimited Potential vision to build greater social and economic opportunity worldwide through technology. It has already helped more than 90 million people in 101 countries. The renewal of the commitment over the next five years brings the software giant’s total 10-year investment in Partners in Learning to nearly $500m.
“Microsoft has always believed that education is the cornerstone of opportunity and that investing in education is the best way to help young people achieve their potential,” said Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates.
“Partners in Learning is one of the ways Microsoft works with governments and schools around the world to help teachers use technology in the classroom to make learning exciting and relevant.”
Microsoft hopes that by 2015 it will reach out to a billion people who are not yet benefiting from technology.
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