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Google Gives Apps To Rwanda, Kenya

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Google has a habit of showing up where you least expect it; from a hub in Ireland to server farms in North Carolina, the company isn’t afraid to venture out of its Mountain View home.  Now Google has made two new deals, and both the Rwandan Ministry of Infrastructure and the Kenya Education Network should benefit from its willingness to travel.

According to Google, African students (and some government officials) will receive Google Apps, which might be described as a sort of Google prize pack: “free communications tools including email, shared calendars, instant messaging and word processing under their institutions’ domain names.”  70,000 people should gain access to the technology in its initial rollout, with more to follow in later stages.

And good old Google is more than happy to help.  “Google has a simple ambition – to help organize the world’s information, making it universally accessible and useful,” stated Shona Brown, Senior Vice President of Business Operations at Google.  “For us, universality is crucial because we believe everyone should have access to the same services – wherever they live, whatever their language and regardless of income.”

On that note, I should reiterate that Google struck separate deals with Rwandan and Kenyan representatives, and point out that only Rwandan officials will get access to Apps.  Still, there aren’t likely to be many complaints about the company’s generosity.

Albert Butare, the Rwandan Minister of State for Energy and Communications, seemed happy enough, at least.  “This partnership will be a boost in terms of services offered to our Rwandan Academic Institutions, allowing them to collaborate in their learning activities,” he said in a statement.

Speaking of boosts, Google’s stock has risen a significant amount so far today – apparently due to news of its deals in Africa.

Google Gives Apps To Rwanda, Kenya
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