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.”
Three Rwandan universities – the National University of Rwanda, the Kigali Institute for Education and the Kigali Institute for Science and Technology – will initially have access to Google Apps Education Edition, while the country’s government ministries will be using Google Apps Standard Edition. During this first phase, around 20,000 users in Rwanda will have access to these services. A broader countywide rollout will follow shortly afterwards.
The University of Nairobi’s 50,000 students will be the first to be offered Google Apps for Education in Kenya. These services will then be extended to 150,000 Kenyan students at universities across the country. The rollout will be jointly coordinated by Google and KENET.
Shona Brown, Senior Vice President of Business Operations at Google added: “Google has a simple ambition – to help organize the world’s information, making it universally accessible and useful. 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. I am delighted that we have signed this deal and look forward to working with other African governments to make life enhancing services like free email, instant messaging and PC-to-PC phone calls more widely available across Africa.”
Google Apps allows institutions as well as individuals to use Google’s communication and collaboration applications under their own domain names. All services are hosted by Google and are available to users via any web-based PC. Google Apps includes the following services:
- Gmail™ – provides users with 2 gigabytes of storage, highly effective spam and powerful search. Gmail includes instant messaging within the email interface;
- Google Calendar™ – is an online calendar that makes it easy for people to organize their lives and share schedules with others;
- Google Talk™ – lets users make PC-to-PC voice calls and send instant messages to each other for free;
- Google Docs & Spreadsheets™ – allows people to create and collaborate on documents and spreadsheets without the need to email attachments back and forth. Different people from within the same organization can work on a document at the same time. All revisions are recorded for editing, and controls enable people to define who can and cannot share the information;
- Google Page Creator™ – This what-you-see-is-what-you-get web page authoring tool lets domain administrators build simple web pages for their domain and publish them to the web even if they don’t have any website building experience.