Donating computers to developing countries : no transfer of tools without transferring competencies

Orientation of proposal

All donations of hardware to developing countries should be accompanied with the transfer of competencies that allow local actors not only to recycle, maintain and adapt this hardware, but to acquire competencies that facilitate endogenous development.


It has become fashionable for industrialised countries, where computers are replaced every two years, to ship their obsolete hardware to the poorest countries. The North thus buys itself a good conscious on the cheap (for the cost of transport) while pretending that this solves the problem of the digital divide, whereas it transforms the developing countries into waste computer dumps. As for the developing countries, they are so dependent that all they can do is thank the industrialised countries for this windfall.

It would be premature and counter productive to stop such donations, rather they should be made under certain conditions (by making technical follow-up possible on site) and transfers of competencies (use the donation of hardware to impel the development of local competencies), which are indispensable

Posté le 4 octobre 2002

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