The Scottish government has announced its plans to donate used computer equipment to schools and communities in sub-Saharan Africa.
The government has partnered with the Turing Trust, which supports sustainable education and training in the region, to send computers, tablets, mobile phones and accessories including computer mice and keyboards to schools in Ghana, Liberia and Malawi. The Scottish government aims to refresh its computer equipment every four to five years to ensure a high level of cybersecurity; and donating equipment which has been determined no longer suitable for corporate use within government to communities in Africa both supports international digital education and reduces waste.
International Development Minister Ben Macpherson said: “This is an excellent partnership which showcases the Scottish government’s dedication to good global citizenship, improving digital literacy and developing the circular economy. By donating these computers, we will help hundreds of teachers and thousands of children and adult students in Africa to develop their computer skills and their career prospects as a result. What’s more, we will be extending the useful life of Scottish government computer equipment by recycling materials, offsetting carbon emissions and ensuring that it does not go to landfill.”
To date, the Turing Trust has distributed more than 4,250 secondhand computers in sub-Saharan African nations, supported training for more than 530 teachers; and reused more than 69 tonnes of computer equipment which would otherwise go to landfill. Earlier in 2019, the Trust was awarded £60,000 (€69,484.94) through the Scottish government’s International Small Grants Programme to provide training in computer and digital literacy for 80 teachers in Malawi; enabling the teachers to provide digital education for 9,000 girls who were unable to attend school because of their gender or location.
James Turing, great-nephew of renowned codebreaker Alan Turing and founder of the Turing Trust, said: “I’m really excited to be working with the Scottish government. These donations will significantly improve the lives and learning outcomes of children, adult students and teachers in Africa. Being able to reuse this equipment means that we’ll be offsetting significant carbon emissions, meaning this donation is good for both people and the planet.”