AMD and Mauritius Sign Deal for Low-cost PCs

In an effort to help bridge the digital divide, Advanced Micro Devices will sell 100,000 low-cost PCs in Mauritius, said Imi Mosaheb, AMD's sales and marketing manager for South Africa.

"As from the end of September, a first batch of low-cost PCs will probably be put on the market, if everything goes as planned," Mosaheb announced at the opening of Infotech 2008, an annual IT event held in Pailles, Mauritius.

The Mauritius Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunications and AMD signed a memorandum of understanding pertaining to the project on Wednesday.

The deal aims to bring down the price of computers (including CPU, keyboard, screen and mouse) to below 10,000 Mauritius rupees (US$383). A PC in Mauritius currently costs at least double that price.

AMD will supply processors, graphic cards and other components, while local manufacturers will assemble the PCs. AMD's local partner, Leal Communications & Informatics, will play a crucial role in the assembly process.

The PCs are meant for those who cannot otherwise afford a computer, said IT and Telecommunications Minister Etienne Sinatambou at Infotech. But bringing down prices alone isn't enough to bridge the digital divide, and several loan plans will further help those who need it most, he added.

The Mauritius government is also working establishing the National e-Inclusion Foundation to help bridge the gap. This public-private partnership between the government and such companies as Microsoft Indian Ocean plans to donate at least 20,000 refurbished PCs to low-income families within the next five years and an additional 10,000 to nongovernment organizations. The foundation will also contribute to the establishment of IT academies.

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