View Full Version : Can this be realised?

07-03-2003, 06:57 AM
As im going to do voluntary work next year in Nigeria (Africa), i was thinking of starting a new project over there.

It would involve computers because thats where im good in.
I know Africa and computers arent going well together at the moment but it appears that computers are being introduced more and more.

So here's my plan wich i think can be realised, although i have some doubts, therefor i'm asking your opinion about it because i know there are lots of people here that work in comp stores etc.

Once in Nigeria i would start collecting old comps, broken comps that people wont need anylonger, and that otherwise would end up on some scrapheap. I would fix these comp, and sell them for a very low price to schools and also to regular people.

I know that these comps wont be state of the art, im expecting comps like a pentium with 200 Mhz (maximum) and like 32 Mb ram (maximum). Comps like 4.86 or 3.86 would also fit into my plan.
And probably if there is a computer shop, these parts will be too expensive for me to buy, to replace broken parts (because its voluntary work-- taxes etc evading).

I fixed compsbefore for a second hand store and i know from experience that they have two "large" boxes filled with working and not working computer parts by the end of the month.
They just throw these parts away because they have too much from them. of course this is in Belgium.

So since i know the manager of this second hand store as a friend, it could be (i still have to call & meet him) possible IMO that he would save these parts for me and then send the parts to Nigeria...

Then i would have computer parts for free ( the cost to send these parts would be "probably" paid by my former school or other people).

This way i can fix computers for a very low price since all ill be needing are small things like batteries for mobo's etc...

For now its merely a plan, so i still have to contact everyone and see that i have enough funding wich hopefully isnt too much of a problem.

Could i pull this off and is it to be realised when funding is OK and when i have some kind of support (parts etc) from friends, school etc here in Belgium.

There are people on this board who have experience with this kind of thing, although then on a basis of profit. And i would like to hear your opinions/ suggestions about it .

Thanks in advance.



07-03-2003, 07:06 AM
If the parts are in the 'not working box', how do you plan on getting them to work? Also, why not just donate the machines instead of selling them to the people.

07-03-2003, 07:15 AM
I know selling isnt the best option when yo udo voluntary work, i would sell them if my funding is lacking, when i have enough funding then i would donate them to schools etc.

Right now i need about 2000$ and i need it fast... although ive got a plan to find 2000$ within this and a month.

Ive been calculating every damn thing and so far im already on 8000$ just to get to Nigeria, be there for a year and come back, then i need money for the shipment of the parts (if thats not being funded).

Im going to contact every person i know that could help me out with this soon, as time is running out.

Funding is all i need, my parents have already paid 6000$ in total and now im working and scrapin parts together to find some more cash.

Also if funding for the shipment of the parts is OK then i still need some cash to buy myself some tools over there, because i cant take everything with me on the plane (only 20 kg is allowed :( )

parts in the "not working box", there isnt a box like that everything that they have left is being putted in it... so it can be that lots of parts still work and others not (or in the worst case the opposite )

07-03-2003, 08:09 AM
There are a numbre of "Computers to African School" scheme running already. Generally they are lauded as a good idea for people trying to avoid the increasing costs of disposal of unwanted equipment. The schools at the other end get out of date systems, with poor unsupportable operating systems and generation old software packages - they are basically more trouble than they are worth.


There are several African countries that are trying to emulate India in setting up low cost code shops, Nigeria is one such, (although the rampant corruption and crime siphons much of the profit into peoples pockets - I hated Nigeria). A much better model is Ghana, and to the Francophone world, Senegal - both quite pleasant countries.

Many places in Africa are not as backward as people seem to think.

07-03-2003, 08:48 AM
About corruption etc , your right.
And indeed Africa isnt as backward as everyone thinks.

Ive read the article carefully and they are right on some points.
But donating a system in 2003 that wont be able to run someprograms in 2004 is crap...
I still work with a 3.86 and such to do text-editing (printing etc).
Alright pdf files and such like that require more then a 3.86 or a 4.86...

Anyhow i see kids at the age of 8 in front of a comp in our schools, every class has one or more then one comp where kids can work on.
It could be that what im going to try is a useless effort, but then i can say i tried...

Anyhow, im going to check with the 2nde hand store manager, make some calls for decent funding and check how much shipment will cost.

07-03-2003, 09:14 AM
That was, of course, only one article, there have been a number of these schemes under the microscope recently.

I have travelled extensively in Africa, and generally, where there is a semi-reliable power supply, there will be computer shops. These don't handle old stuff, so yeah, you can fix up a 386 and give it to a school, but if the ram stick, (for example), goes wrong, they can't fix them.

>>> but then i can say i tried...

There are an awful lot of well meaning schemes directed to third world countries that frankly do more harm than good, I've been there a few times to clear up the mess they've left behind.

I'm just saying be careful.

07-03-2003, 09:20 AM
So alright before i make a move right now im gonna analyze this thing do some research....
Electricity will be one of the major problems, since i wont be living in some major city. I expect electricity around 60% of the time..

Anyhow ive got to give this some serious thinking and do someresearch on it.

Thx for the reply adrian;)