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Google Offers Online Services to Rwandan, Kenyan Universities

The Internet company, Google, says it will soon provide free on-line services to universities in Kenya and Rwanda.

The U.S.-based search engine firm announced Monday that it has signed separate deals with the Rwandan Ministry of Infrastructure and the Kenya Education Network.

Those deals call Google to provide its "Apps" software to universities in both countries. Rwandan government officials also will have access to the software.

Beneficiaries will be able to use online tools including e-mail, shared calendars, instant messaging and word processing.

Google officials say the company believes in providing the same level of services and access to people regardless of their location or income.

Initially, about 20,000 students in Rwanda and 50,000 in Kenya will have access to the services. Plans call for the services to be expanded in Kenya to reach 150,000 students.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.