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Falling off the Second-Hand PC Bandwagon

By Wayan Vota on June 22, 2009

At Inveneo, we’ve never been big fans of second-hand computers. We often find that the maintenance and support of older systems is more expensive (greater Total Cost of Ownership) than buying new computers better suited to the needs of African users.

Second hand computers for sale

In fact, we often find that second-hand computers become e-waste, as James Wire saw during an ICT research study with secondary schools in Uganda

One school that I visited in particular, Mwiri Secondary School had received about 100 second hand computers as a donation from old students in the diaspora. I was shocked to find less than 10 of these computers working with the rest heaped like a man-made mountain – totally useless. Not even the keyboards could be redeemed. Ever since then, I fell out with the Second Hand PC bandwagon.

So we’re excited to hear that the government of Uganda has banned second-hand computer imports, and that the Kenyan and Nigerian governments will keep duties and impose taxes, respectively, on second-hand computer imports.

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Written by
Wayan Vota co-founded ICTworks and is the Digital Health Director at IntraHealth International. He also co-founded Technology Salon, MERL Tech, ICTforAg, ICT4Djobs, ICT4Drinks, JadedAid, Kurante, OLPC News and a few other things. Opinions expressed here are his own and do not reflect the position of IntraHealth International or other ICTWorks sponsors.
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