Sunday, 14 December 2014

Jamaican public libraries to benefit from grant for ICT services

Author: Balford Henry, Observer Senior Staff Reporter
Title: Bill and Melinda Gates give J$226m to Jamaica’s ICT development
Date published: November 26, 2014


The article reports on the Minister of Education, Ronald Thwaites, announcing to the House of Representatives in Parliament the details of a grant by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. According to the article, the donation is earmarked at providing US$2 million (approximately J$226 million) to finance increased access to ICT services for Jamaicans via the islandwide public library service. The reporter details the amount of the grant and the projected cost of the project as well as the expected beneficiaries. It is also mentioned that part of the grant will be spent on marketing public library services and promoting advocacy for the importance and value of the public library to Jamaica's national development.


The project costs US$3.1 million (approximately J$350 million). The Jamaican government will donate the other US$1.1 million (approximately $123 million)
Thwaites said that beneficiaries will include users of public libraries islandwide, including marginalized groups, senior citizens, persons from rural and inner-city communities, the unemployed and persons with disabilities, including the visually impaired, and ordinary citizens seeking information about self-improvement.
“The marketing plan, which envisages a major campaign to make Jamaicans aware of the project and its deliverables, and will increase the number of library users, is being finalized for implementation commencing in November,” he said.

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