Minister calls on firms to send old PCs to Africa

22 May 2009

Minister Michéal Martin TD is urging companies to rethink their recycling options available to them, calling on businesses to consider the reuse of their computers to help educate African children

Speaking at the launch of the Cork branch of the charity Camara at the Life Centre in Cork City today, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Micheál Martin, called on Munster businesses to contemplate reusing their computers when looking at their recycling options.

At the launch, Minister Martin said:  “I urge Munster businesses to consider the option of having their used computers refurbished and reused in schools in Africa when considering recycling options. Effectively, many disposed computers can have a second life prior to recycling.

“Camara’s reuse policy is an innovative solution and Camara equipping schools in Africa with computer labs will have a lasting impact for hundreds of thousands of African children.”

Cormac Lynch, CEO of Camara, explained how the charity had already sent out over 10,000 refurbished computers to schools in Africa, adding how the Cork region would be an important contributor to the next 10,000.

“Best practice for IT equipment disposal is to have it reused prior to its eventual recycling and it doesn’t cost companies anymore to decide this route over immediate recycling,” he said.

“In Ireland in 2009, 250,000 computers will be sent to Irish recycling plants – but they could be reused by Camara to educate as many as five million African children before being finally recycled” added Lynch.

Camara is a registered Irish charity, founded in 2005, which uses Irish technological resources to equip schools in Africa with refurbished computers, educational software and IT training. The charity receives funding from the Government through Irish Aid. Camara works in Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Zambia and Lesotho.

By Carmel Doyle

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic