Old computers get a new life in Africa

Jönköping International Business School has donated nearly two hundred computers to Computer Aid Sweden.

The idea was born last spring, when IT coordinator Stefan Nylander started preparing for a new printer system. Most of the old printers were part of a buyback deal, but many were about to be scrapped, despite still being in working condition. With a recent reduction in the number of computer labs, there was also a large amount of computers that were no longer being used.

Through Ulf Larsson at the Informatics Department, Stefan got in touch with Computer Aid Sweden , a non-profit organization based in Örebro that collects and repairs computers and other IT equipment. They cooperate with, among others, Erikshjälpen and UNICEF, who redistributes the equipment to health care centres and schools around the world.

In total, JIBS had donated 190 PCs, 143 keyboards, 17 printers, three fax machines and one scanner to Computer Aid. All computers from the old computer labs are not transferred, but some have been kept in storage for spare parts.

The hard drives will now be deleted with specific, safety-tested programs, and then installed with unlicensed operating systems and software. The organization that distributes the computers to their final location is also responsible for reporting to Computer Aid that the equipment is being used for the intended purpose, so that the risk for abuse is minimized. Computer Aid also requires that the organization prepares a plan for recycling of the computer components when they can no longer be used.
JIBS computers will most probably be in be put into service in schools and hospitals in Ethiopia.