30,000 Notebooks for Zambian Teachers

“Simply sending computers to Africa is not enough.” This is the maxim of Digital Links, a social enterprise situated in London and Johannesburg. Based on a sound partnership model with governments and international corporations such as Barclays, BUPA, Cadbury’s, DFID, DHL, Lloyd’s, Nestle UK, Reuters, RM, and DELL, Digital Links wants to set up an efficient infrastructure, provide on-going support and maintenance, as well as access to eLearning tools, connectivity, and training in several African countries. Currently, a large-scale teachers’ endowment project is taking place in Zambia, the host country of eLearning Africa 2010.

Against the backdrop of a rising e-waste problem in developing countries, a sustainable and practical approach to refurbishing computers for donation purposes is absolutely indispensable. This is what Digital Links, a social enterprise founded in 2002, is aiming for. Computers donated in the UK are reconditioned to the highest standard in accordance with UK environmental and data-protection legislation, ensuring optimal reuse possibilities and limiting the strain on world resources. Through partnerships with leading PC manufacturers, Digital Links can also provide new computers for low-income groups. This is done by offering micro-credits over the course of a year. In addition, Digital Links started several computerisation programmes across Africa. Digital learning resources and materials for teachers and learners complete the portfolio.

The most recent project is the deployment of a scheme allowing teachers in Zambia, the host country of eLearning Africa 2010, to purchase computers. The idea is to equip teachers with around 30,000 notebooks, taking varying income levels into account. This will be done in partnership with the 50x15 Foundation and Mecer, South Africa. The laptops are specifically aimed at the teacher/education market and have exceptionally low power consumption. Ten thousand public servants and teachers have already signed up for the first year of this programme, which is expected to get going in late October or early November, 2009.

Text taken from e-learning Africa’s news portal, October 12th 2009

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