Mbeki jokes with pupils

Riot Hlatshwayo

Riot Hlatshwayo

President Thabo Mbeki said that he doesn't have a problem with Premier Thabang Makwetla becoming the first president of South Africa to come from Mpumalanga.

This just as long as the second president from the province had attended Maripe High School.

Mbeki shared this joke during the official launch of the New Partnership for Africa's Development (Nepad) e-Schools Demo Project at Maripe High School in Bushbuckridge on Tuesday.

Mbeki said people had to concentrate on how to learn and use technology.

"I'm very glad that we are here today to launch the e-schools project because this is what will empower us to change our lives," said Mbeki, to loud applause.

The executive deputy chairman of Nepad's e-Africa Commission, Henry Chasia, said the schools programme was adopted in Abuja in March 2003 with a vision to make all pupils on the continent literate in information technology.

The managing director of HP South Africa, Thoko Mokgosi- Mantembe, said the project would not have been possible were it not for Eskom, Motorola and many other sponsors.

"All organisations have a role to play in improving our community," said Mokgosi-Mantembe.

She said the project was in operation in 20 African countries, including Egypt and Uganda.