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4955RE: [ujeni] for sake of argument

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  • Holland, Mark
    Dec 19, 2005
      > Mr. Gates wants to send computers to Africa - an unproductive not to
      > say insane idea. I would offer pencils and paper, mops and brooms:
      > the schools I have seen in Malawi need them badly.

      As someone who spent two post-peace-corps years as a computer consultant on
      a wide variety of projects in Malawi, I can only hang my head and agree.
      With a few more filing cabinets, a few more reams of paper, and an overhaul
      of administrative procedures, the government staff I worked with could have
      handled the existing information flow in a few hours a day. The maintenance
      and supply problems are insurmountable without donor aid. And I wonder if
      people really understand the associated opportunity cost: when a computer
      is "given" to Africa it means that donor money goes to Microsoft, Intel,
      DHL, and a handful of local import agents.


      -----Original Message-----
      From: ujeni@yahoogroups.com [mailto:ujeni@yahoogroups.com]On Behalf Of
      Christine Chumbler
      Sent: Monday, December 19, 2005 5:15 PM
      To: ujeni@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [ujeni] for sake of argument

      I'm not saying that I agree with his arguments necessarily (in fact, my
      first instinct is to pick apart *anything* he says), but thought I'd pass
      along this Paul Theroux op-ed from the NY Times.

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