March 2008

World News

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e-Banking services to Vanuatu's rural areas
Rural residents of Vanuatu will enjoy modern banking services soon supported by Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Japan, by bringing electronic banking services and cards swipe services to their doorstep.

With National Bank of Vanuatu (NBV), customers will be able to use a plastic card with a magnetic strip, so that they can access several financial services using electronic funds transfer point of sale  (eftPOS) cards, or SmartCard technology. The technology will allow bank customers to have access to savings accounts, make deposits and withdrawals, or transfer money. The e-Banking system will provide local access to secure and convenient banking services. The Japan Special Fund is providing a $600,000 technical assistance (TA) grant, which would be managed by ADB. 

 Maldives opens world's first virtual embassy

The Maldives has become the first country in the world to open a virtual embassy in Second Life (SL).

The Maldives Virtual Embassy is an on-line space located in the Diplomatic Quarter of Diplomacy Island in SL, which is designed to allow new avenues for diplomatic representation and negotiation, especially for small and developing countries that have limited diplomatic outreach in the 'real' world. The embassy includes a notice board with detail on 'democratic and human rights reform' in the country. The Virtual Embassy is another channel to provide viewpoints on issues of international concern, and to interact with partners in the international community. SL is a fast-growing virtual community with more than six million 'citizens.' It has its own currency, the Linden Dollar, which can be exchanged for US dollars.

Malta government launches national e-Learning strategy

Government of Malta has launched a national e-Learning strategy for the year 2008-2010.

The strategy  incorporates  a

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