The Ministry of Economic Reform, Science & Technology signs Memorandum of Understanding with Carnegie Mellon University

In a refreshing vote of confidence and support to Sri Lanka's efforts to bring Information Technology solutions to the people, one of the best universities in the United States in the field of computer science, Carnegie Mellon, announced its agreement to develop a program of cooperation with Sri Lanka which includes a Technology Peace Corps.

Coming on the eve of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe's visit to the United States, the announcement from Carnegie Mellon indicated that the plans include a launch of a Technology Peace Corps through which academics, researchers and training staff will visit Sri Lanka to conduct research, help upgrade the IT environment, and learn from the experience. Details of the plan will be finalized in cooperation with the Ministry of Economic Reform, Science and Technology and the newly formed Information, Communication and Technology Agency (ICTA).

Carnegie Mellon University Provost Mark Kamlet said that he was hopeful that the University's expertise in the field can make helpful contributions as Sri Lanka, through the e-Sri Lanka framework, moves forward to support sustainable economic development. The students and faculty, he said, will enjoy working with creative collaborators and leverage the rich culture and traditions, and the potential that Sri Lanka has in a post conflict situation to make rapid economic growth.

Minister for Economic Reform, Science and Technology, Milinda Moragoda, who is also accompanying the Prime Minister on his visit, stated that this is a vote of confidence by a very prestigious university, in the potential for IT in Sri Lanka. We need to open our "windows" to what is happening in the IT field in the world and the Technology Peace Corps will enable Sri Lankans to interact with volunteers who are also excited with the opportunity to work, learn and share their knowledge. "We have one of the highest literacy rates in the developing world but we will fall behind if our IT literacy rate does not also catch up. I see prospects for the Carnegie Peace Corps initiative, through their research work, to help us develop low cost solutions that will benefit the many people who do not have the opportunity in our country to benefit from IT."

Embassy of Sri Lanka
Washington DC

01 November 2003


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