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Launch of Information Technology Public-Private Partnership in Libya

Launch of Information Technology Public-Private Partnership in Libya

July 27, 2012
US Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens with Jason Erb at the launch event ©State Dept.

As part of MEPI’s Information Technology Partnership with Microsoft, and following an earlier event in Benghazi, over 100 representatives from Libyan civil society organizations (CSOs), numerous Libyan government officials, and MEPI implementer Creative Associates gathered in Tripoli on July 17 for the launch of partnership activities in the western part of the country. Through the partnership, Microsoft is providing approximately $300,000 of software and training to assist nearly 50 MEPI-supported CSOs in Libya to use technology to improve the effectiveness of their projects, build organizational capacity, and develop more sophisticated outreach.  Ambassador Chris Stevens gave remarks at the July 17 launch event. “For civil society, information technology is the great equalizer, allowing the smallest NGO in a provincial town to disseminate vital information that can help combat the spread of disease, fight corruption, or expose human rights violations,” he stated.

Microsoft’s software and training support leverages the assistance provided to these organizations by MEPI through the Community-Driven Grants Program (CDGP), implemented by Creative Associates. Jason Erb, Chief of Party for the CDGP, underscored the importance of the partnership: “Microsoft’s participation in MEPI’s Information Technology Partnership is helping Libyan civil society organizations to better manage their finances and contact databases, develop more sophisticated outreach materials and reports, and prepare more compelling public presentations. Licensed software will also protect our partners from online security threats, viruses, and spam-ware that can attack computers and computer networks through pirated software.” MEPI is currently working with Microsoft to provide grants to other CSOs throughout the MENA region and to explore additional partnership opportunities.