Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Bill Gates says Lanka poised for greater growth

President commends ICTA, Microsoft for removing
language barriers in computer applications with the launch
of Sinhala interface pack


Microsoft founder Bill Gates on Monday expressed his optimism that Sri Lanka “is poised for greater economic growth and development” and expressed the global giant’s support since much of future prosperity would be fueled by the use of software and the power of IT.
Positive sentiments by Gates, one of the world’s richest entrepreneurs, were conveyed to none other than President Mahinda Rajapakse via a special audio visual message at a ceremony to handover a plaque incorporating the first copy of the Sinhala Language Interface Pack (LIP), from Microsoft and ICTA, paving the way towards making significant progress in Rural ICT adoption in Sri Lanka.
The presentation was part of Microsoft and ICTA efforts to mark the “Year of English and IT Services” this year.
Gates said he was “very excited to learn about plans for the year which have a clear focus on IT, because this initiative demonstrates” that President Rajapaksa, and his government recognize the extraordinary potential that information technology has to dramatically improve people’s lives in the country.
“Sri Lanka has an advantage though, with a government that’s committed to investing further in IT, as outlined in President Rajapaksa’s vision statement. Like President Rajapaksa, I am optimistic that the country is poised for greater economic growth and development and much of that will be fueled by the use of software and the power of IT. Sri Lanka’s high literacy rate, at over 90%, and its high standards of education and healthcare give it a strong economic foundation. The country’s IT literacy rate is nearing 20%, which represents a significant jump from 8% only a few years ago. English language speaking skills are also a crucial part of the foundation for future growth. I am pleased to see that the government has identified the importance of English language skills by declaring 2009 the Year of English and IT Services,” Gates said in his message.

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