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Australia to donate 4250 Lapdesks to a Maputo school

afrol News, 18 May - The Australian government has offered assistance for the education sector in Mozambique, the donation which also comes at a time when Australia is expanding its development assistance programme in Africa.

The Austraian High Commissioner Designate to Mozambique, Ms Ann Harrap, is expected to present, 4250 Lapdesks to a school in Maputo at a handover ceremony scheduled for 19 May.

The handing over ceremony will take place at Escola Primária Completa da Machava Sede, Maputo.

The donation follows the recent visit by Australia’s Governor-General, Ms Quentin Bryce AC, to Mozambique, which helped strengthen Australia’s engagement with Mozambique.

Lapdesks are light-weight, portable writing surfaces, ergonomically designed to fit comfortably on a student’s lap, whether seated on a chair, on a bench, or under a tree.

Lapdesks were created to help increase literacy and directly improve the quality and outcome of Mozambican and African Education by addressing the shortage of learning infrastructure.

As part of a commitment to broaden its engagement with Africa, the Australian government has commited to provide an estimated A$163.9 million in development assistance to Africa in 2009-10, a substantial increase on the previous year.

"Despite the international economic downturn, Australia’s commitment to increasing its development cooperation efforts on the continent remains strong," a statement issued from the Australian High Commission in South Africa said, adding that the government has already committed to increase, within four years, by up to ten-fold scholarships and fellowships offered to students from across Africa. "This will see up to 1,000 scholarships and fellowships available to Africans," the statement said.

It continued that as a committed partner in Africa’s development, Australia seeks to support Africa’s progress towards the Millennium Development Goals in areas such as human resource capacity building, food security, maternal and child health, and water and sanitation.

"Australia’s strengthened engagement with Africa is designed to support Africa’s efforts to promote economic growth and prosperity through investment and trade, to accelerate progress towards the Millennium Development Goals, and to address peace and security challenges," the statement concluded.

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