MEDELLÍN, Colombia, Dec. 3, 2007 – Intel Corporation Chairman Craig Barrett today praised Medellín for leadership in harnessing the benefits of technology and said its Digital Medellín strategy was a model that should be replicated to better people’s lives across the country.
Barrett is visiting Colombia this week on the final leg of a worldwide tour focused on increasing the use of technology to expand opportunities in developing countries. During a speech today to young entrepreneurs and other members of Medellín’s business community, he cited the ongoing need to foster innovation and technology investment by the public and private sectors. Barrett also placed special emphasis on education, noting that it is vital for Colombia to cultivate a skilled workforce.
“Providing students with access to computers, trained teachers, local content and the world’s information resources will help advance Colombia’s social and economic development,” said Barrett, who also chairs the United Nations Global Alliance for Information and Communications Technology (ICT) and Development. “Laying this crucial groundwork now will enable Colombia to participate more actively in the global economy.”
Barrett reiterated the importance of education during an open forum with youths at the Parque Biblioteca España, a library that serves as a symbol of hope and progress in the Santo Domingo Savio neighborhood. Formerly one of the most dangerous areas of Medellín, the neighborhood has been revitalized through education, transportation and other social investments.
In keeping with Intel’s education efforts, Barrett presented PCs to the Marina Orth School during his visit to the rural school in the Andes. The PCs donated by Intel, along with a matching number of PCs provided by Medellín’s Secretary of Education, will enable the school to update its aging computer lab. The remote school that serves 350 students already takes advantage of a high-speed WiMAX wireless Internet network deployed by UNE Telecommunications. In addition, Barrett announced that teachers at the school will receive training through the Intel® Teach Program. Launched in Colombia in 2005, the program trains teachers to integrate technology in the curriculum for enhanced classroom learning. Barrett spent time with students and teachers at the Marina Orth School to observe how they are using technology to gain greater access to learning opportunities.
Barrett also met with local government officials and business leaders to discuss the future roadmap of the city related to technology and development. Attendees at the gathering included CEOs of companies with headquarters in Medellín, as well as the city’s newly elected mayor, Alonso Salazar.
Through its World Ahead Program, Intel strives to improve education, healthcare, entrepreneurship and government services in developing countries worldwide by accelerating access to computers, connectivity and localized Internet content. Additional information is available at www.intel.com/changingtheworld and www.intel.com/intel/worldahead.