Computers 4 Africa has developed and grown from a number of successful projects and organisations. As computing has moved into a central role in schools and businesses in the UK, the need for an end of life solution is essential. Everybody can see that reuse is the best option and we do that very well!
In 1995 a charity who recycled paper in London was given computers by a bank and asked to recycle them. This part of the charity grew and was recognised as a separate entity called Cyber Cycle. Cyber Cycle combined green ethos with practical skills for the unemployed. This scheme was also very successful becoming syndicated throughout the UK with 17 projects working in different regions. Gordon Brown, the Chancellor at the time wrote “I was very impressed by the work you do – both giving young people the opportunity to gain skills as part of the New Deal and providing access to computers to low income families.” A new project began in 2004 called Digital Inclusion- Microsoft had approached Charity Logistics to manage a new project aimed at providing refurbished PCs to the developing World. However, it was decided that this name did not mean much to ordinary people and was later changed to “Computers 4 Africa”.
The Charity Computers 4 Africa really took off as two visionaries met. George Cook who had been involved in these projects and Aseri Katanga. Aseri had been collecting PC’s privately and taking them to schools across Tanzania. Because of this work Aseri won Hero of the Year with DIY retailer B&Q and was given the opportunity to work in Africa for a year. During this time Aseri had helped to equip 26 schools in Tanzania with IT equipment and training. Aseri is now Computer 4 Africa’s Chairman of the Board of Trustees.
In 2011 Computers 4 Africa and Digital Pipeline merged. Taking corporate know how and systems from one and the in house processing and deployment capabilities of the other. The charity retained the name of Computers 4 Africa for Digital Pipelines work into Africa.