Well put. My thoughts exactly, by the time I'd gotten a couple of paragraphs into the article.
It all smacks of forward planning. "Get our claws in while it's cheap, then, when somebody else has sorted out the poverty/health/famine problems over there and there's some money around, we'll reap the rewards of our early investments." Same with the rivals to the OLPC project. Maybe even OLPC themselves, if I'm gonna be really cynical.
Why provide computing and internet facilities to a areas where there are far more pressing matters to attend to? Chuck $600M at those problems, then these people can live and after you've then invested in the technology infrastructure, you'll be able to make them your paying customers.
Surely that's a slightly better philosophy?