Uganda: UN industrial agency supports new computer refurbishment business

12 June 2008 – A new computer refurbishment centre was opened today in the Ugandan capital Kampala with the support of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO).

The centre, to be run by Uganda Green Computers Company, aims to supply affordable personal computers to small businesses in Uganda.

“Fostering entrepreneurship is critical to economic growth in Africa. No economy can thrive and be competitive without dynamic small and medium-sized enterprises,” Kandeh K. Yumkella, Director-General of UNIDO, said in a statement. “We are enthused by this project because PC refurbishment centres provide one of the missing links for many micro and informal businesses in the country.”

The centre’s goal is to refurbish 10,000 quality-brand PCs a year and to resell them at a retail price estimated to start at $175, one third of the price of a new business PC.

For its distributor network, the Uganda Green Computers Co. relies on District Business Information Centres, which UNIDO has established throughout the country to support small enterprises.

The new centre will re-use working components, such as memory, resell high-value material, including copper and circuit boards, and locally recycle simple materials such as steel and plastic. The centre will work with regional or global recyclers for the proper disposal of toxic substances such as lead glass.

The initiative is part of a partnership between UNIDO and Microsoft to support opportunities for small businesses in Uganda. The partners, working with governments and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), aim to reach one billion people who don’t have access to computers, by 2015.

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