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Ireland to donate 400 government computers to African schools

Schools and universities in sub-Saharan Africa will receive 400 computers from Ireland’s Department of Foreign Affairs, the government announced Wednesday.

Foreign Affairs Minister Dermot Ahern urged businesses to donate their used computers, rather than throw them away, for both environmental and charitable reasons.

Ahern said the 5-year-old computers were being replaced in the Department of Foreign Affairs headquarters. Normally, he said, they would be discarded and recycled, but instead were being donated to a Dublin charity, Camara, which specializes in reformatting used computers for use in Africa.

”Camara cleans the hard drive and its volunteers then download educational programs for use by youngsters in Africa,” Ahern said. ”I would appeal to other organizations and the private sector to consider donating used PCs for use in sub-Saharan Africa.”

The government last year gave Camara euro225,000 (US$300,000) for its work, which involved shipping about 1,000 computers to African schools.

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