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Libya signs on for 'One Laptop per Child'

Lime-green wind-up

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The Libyan government has signed up to Nicholas Negroponte's "One Laptop per Child" (OLPC) scheme to buy each of its 1.2m school children one of the machines by June 2008, according to reports.

Negroponte told the New York Times that the contract in Libya was agreed on Tuesday, but neither the Libyan media nor the Libyan authorities have yet commented on the deal.

Negroponte also noted that Col. Gaddafi, famed throughout Britain for his flatulence during television interviews, had expressed an interest in buying more of the computers for some of his poorer African neighbours.

OLPC originally said it would begin production when it has orders for between five million and 10 million laptops. The deal with Libya takes it over the 5 million mark and, according to reports, the organisation plans to start production next year.

The lime-green, wind-up laptops cost $100 apiece and Argentina, Brazil, Nigeria, and Thailand have all signed orders for a million machines. ®

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