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Friday, September 24, 2010

Dagens Industri
Ericsson, together with Millennium Promise and the Earth Institute, has initiated a project to provide millions of children in developing countries with access to education. The Connect to Learn project was launched Tuesday evening at a ceremony in New York. Earth Institute chairman Jeffrey Sachs, UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres, and Graça Machel, longtime activist and the wife of Nelson Mandela, were present. Machel, a UN expert on global education, pointed out that there are 200 million children in Africa who remain without access to education. The new program focuses on providing children, mostly girls, a chance to go to school and receive an education via long-distance lectures. Hans Vestberg emphasized that few technologies have been so important for the world as telecommunications. “Five billion people have a mobile phone today. In five years it will be seven billion. Then 90-95 percent of the population will have mobile coverage,” Vestberg said, and referred to the half million people in the most remote Millennium villages who have gained access to education and healthcare via telecommunications. Vestberg stressed that for Ericsson the project is “a good business case”, which doesn’t require waiting for UN funding to build out networks. “In these areas, we have seen a lot of examples of how villages have increased their income when they received telecommunications,” Vestberg said.

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