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Google Hooks Up Rwanda, Kenya with Apps for Education

Universities in Kenya and various education institutions in Rwanda will start using Google Apps thanks to a partnership announced this week between Google and the Rwandan Ministry of Infrastructure and the Kenya Education Network (KENET).

Thanks to the agreement, students in both Rwanda and Kenya will have free access to a variety of hosted applications from Google. According to Google, initially three Rwandan universities will have access to the Google Apps Education Edition suite: the National University of Rwanda, the Kigali Institute for Education and the Kigali Institute for Science and Technology. Rwanda is also making the apps available to a variety of government users. In total, during the initial rollout, some 20,000 users will have access to the apps, with a nationwide rollout slated to happen "shortly afterwards."

"This partnership will be a boost in terms of services offered to our Rwandan Academic Institutions, allowing them to collaborate in their learning activities," said Albert Butare, Rwanda's minister of state for energy nd communications, in a prepared statement. "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."

Over in Kenya, in the first phase of the launch, 50,000 students at the University of Nairobi's 50,000 will be the first to be offered Google Apps. Later, a total of about 150,000 students will have access through universities across the country. The rollout, according to Google, is being coordinated by Google and KENET.

Specific tools in the Google Apps for Education Edition include Gmail (e-mail), Google Calendar, Google Talk (instant messaging with voice capabilities), Google Docs & Spreadsheets (word processing and spreadsheet collaboration tools), and Google Page Creator (a WYSIWYG Web page creation tool).

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About the Author

David Nagel is editorial director of 1105 Media's Education Technology Group and editor-in-chief of THE Journal and STEAM Universe. A 25-year publishing veteran, Nagel has led or contributed to dozens of technology, art and business publications.

He can be reached at You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at or follow him on Twitter at @THEJournalDave (K-12) or @CampusTechDave (higher education).

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