University computers given new lease of life in Africa

School children in Africa are benefitting from increased access to computer technology thanks to the University of Aberdeen.

With the nature of research and study at the University, it must keep pace with the ever-changing world of Information Technology.

This has resulted in the introduction of a Technology Renewal Programme – a commitment to replace 25 per cent of the Institution’s computer stock annually in order to ensure it meets the high demands of staff and students.

But the PCs no longer suitable for the University’s computer suites are far from obsolete and have been donated to the charity Reusing IT, which distributes them to community projects in Africa.

Over the last 18 months, around 600 computers from Aberdeen have made the long journey to Kenya, where they are now in use in community schools, women’s groups, orphanages and primary health care projects.

Paul Haley, Director of Information Technology, University of Aberdeen, said: “The Technology Renewal Programme is in place to ensure we have state-of-the-art PCs for students and staff.

“However, this does not mean the machines are redundant – just that they cannot necessarily take advantage of the very latest operating systems and applications.

“They are wiped of all information and then donated to the Reusing IT project so that they can be put to use in Africa.

“It is great to see equipment that we can no longer use being given a new lease of life – helping community and volunteer-run projects in Africa which would not otherwise have access to this kind of technology.”