Gesci is advocating Knowledge Society for All. Some may say (and already have said ;-) "C'mon, you may speak about a knowledge society in Europe but in Africa? No way!" The argument is based on the fact that many people in developing countries can hardly read and write and millions of children are still excluded from the school system. So, should literacy and education for all be the priority, not the knowledge society? Well, my answer is yes, yes and yes, this is is exactly what we are saying. It is indeed these knowledge gaps and challenges that keep the countries underdeveloped. The solid knowledge foundation for development is still missing in most of the developing countries. And in addition, the rest of the world is moving towards knowledge based economies, where in some cases so called 'knowledge based industries' are becoming a major sector of the economy. And so we must treat the source of the poverty rather than simply dress the wounds. Knowledge has always been the main factor for social and economic development. We know that from our own history (but somehow this understanding is not reflected in development policy). Advanced societies have always developed through investments in knowledge. These countries are further developing knowledge to sell as products and so these products become the main source for economic development. This is what we term the knowledge economy. So it is not a case fo rejecting the 'knowledge society' as a whole but of determing to what extent the growth and development of a society is based on knowledge and how these opportunities can be offered more equally. I would say that GESCI's vision is based on a "knowledge paradigm", where the development investments are primarilyy targeted at building the country's own knowledge institutions and infrastructure. ICT plays a key role in this by providing a global and up-to-date infrastructure for learning and innovation. This ensures that other development investments are successful and profitable for the country. So, in my opinion the debate that centres around whether or not computers in schools should be tools or targets is redundant. Allow me to simplify it further, in the money based development paradigm it is easy to figure out that the problem is the lack of money (=poverty) and that the solution is often to distribute the money more evenly through development agencies. However, without appropriate knowledge the money will often be misused and the result is that the money disappears without any return on the investment. One can claim that with money you can always buy knowledge and know-how. And yes, that is true but if the know-how is always imported from another country or external source, then indigenous knowledge institutions and infrastructure will never be 'need' to be developed. Thus the country remains a developing country. Actually, a big part of the knowledge economy in the "North" is based on these markets and will flourish as long as the developing countries are not able to develop their own knowledge structures, institutions and required policies and strategies, their own Knowledge Society. It is also important to acknowledge that Knowledge Society is a global phenomenon. To make the global development more inclusive (=available for all), the national knowledge and information infrastructures should be integrated with the global ones. This is to secure that knowledge we communicate in education and business is up to date and relevant for development and the education system is producing relevant skills for the development. I would challenge you to debate on this issue. You are welcome to send your comments and make contra arguments. You can also support what I am saying, if you wish. I know that the ICT4E community is used to discussing the bandwidth, megahertzes , classroom set-ups, teacher development, etc. That is fine, and I will write about these themes later on. However, I think this discussion would be good just because the Minister of Education must be able to explain to the minister of finance (or the donor group co-financing the sector), why the heck ICT is needed in education. So, does Knowledge Society help us to understand, why ICT is needed in education? Can education be integrated to the global knowledge society development with books? Can education be relevant for development without computers today? These are some of the questions that at least the education donors seem to be still considering.