Group preparing second PC shipment to Sierra Leone

FREETOWN, SIERRA LEONE – World Computer Exchange (WCE) is keen on shipping more computers to Sierra Leone, said its president and founder, Timothy Anderson.

“World Computer Exchange is always interested in shipping more computers to connect more youth in Sierra Leone to the Internet,” Anderson wrote in an e-mail interview.

WCE is an American nongovernment organization that aims to bridge the global digital divide by facilitating the donation of used computers from North America to organizations in the developing world.

In 2005, WCE helped with the donation of 200 computers to Sierra Leone, but bureaucracy and concerns over e-waste caused the process to take two years. Moreover, 30 of computers went missing after their delivery. The organization is now planning a second shipment of computers to Sierra Leone, WCE volunteer Lucas Aalmans said last week via e-mail. Plans call for an October ship date, he said.

WCE usually relies on sponsors to pay the shipping costs, which Aalmans once called the WCE’s greatest challenge.

“My understanding of what will be needed to make this successful is our having a more clear idea where at least one-third of the sourcing and shipping costs will be coming from prior to making a firm offering to the interested groups in Sierra Leone,” Anderson wrote of the upcoming shipment.

“The timing will be decided by how long it takes for those groups to raise the balance of the sourcing and shipping costs,” Anderson said. “This usually takes several months.”

WCE launched 15 years ago and now operates in 65 countries around the world.

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