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Keyboards for all…at any price? Towards responsible digital solidarity


Education for Development project focused on reuse and e-waste management in Southern countries


Region / Countries: Senegal


Funding Agency: European Commission


Lead Institution(s): Enda Tiers-Monde, Enda Ecopole, Enda Graf


Project duration: 2008 - 2011



In parallel to illegal exports of e-waste contributing to the “digital dumping”, there are many organizations willing to develop access to ICT in developing countries. Those organizations are called “digital solidarity” actors and send second-hand computers to developing countries in order to reduce the digital gap. Thus, in Africa, computers are usually intended for second life, in schools, hospitals, cybercafés but most of these materials are often used and damaged. According to UNEP, 25% to 75% of the computers unloaded every month in Lagos ports (Nigeria) are unusable and often land in open dump sites.
In Senegal, it unfortunetaly follows this trend and according to the Observatoire sur les Systèmes d’Information, les Réseaux et les Inforoutes au Sénégal (OSIRIS) :

  • 1250 tons of electronic and electric materials landed in Senegal in 2000 and more than 5800 tons in 2007.
  • The estimates show an increasing global trend of incoming computers televisions mobile phones on the order of 25 %.
  • The estimates for 2015 show that more than 32 000 tons of computers, mobile phones and televisions will land in Senegal (OSIRIS, january 2009).

The international development NGO Enda Tiers-Monde (Environment, Development, Action) has implemented projects on the digital gap in Senegal especially on re-use of used computers and e-waste management for years.
In light of those alarming observations, Enda Europe in partnership with the international development NGO Enda Tiers Monde in Senegal with the financial support of the European Commission launched in March 2008 the project “Keyboards for all…at any price? Towards responsible digital solidarity” focusing on the international digital solidarity donations and the absence of proper management of end-of-life computers in Senegal.

The project aims to address two challenges: contributing to the reduction of the digital gap in developing countries (DC) which is part of Goal 8 of the Millennium Development Goals and avoiding the degradation of the environment in DCs caused by the accumulation of non-treated and end-of-life Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) equipment known as e-waste. The general unavailability of safe e-waste treatment facilities in low-and middle-income countries constitutes a real danger.
First, the project team carried out a study on donations of ICT equipment in France, the Netherlands and Senegal aiming at documenting the landscape in which digital solidarity organizations operate.
Second, the project team is carrying out a sensitizing campaign targeting these organizations but also the general public (the European local governments, firms, NGOs facilitating 2nd hand ICT export to DC, the European ICT firms and the European consumers of ICT material) based on several sensitization tools like a comparative study on the practices of digital solidarity actors, round tables between firms, local governments and NGOs on the digital gap/digital dump, a guidance manual on responsible digital solidarity, an exhibition, a press kit, a comic book, radio sessions, a leaflet on how to use note of EEE…



Fabricia Devignes






Study on the practices of digital solidarity actors in Europe and Senegal “Towards a responsible digital solidarity”. The study can be downloaded at (in English)


A practical guide written by our partner, CF2M, a structure of social economy based in Belgium, which provides an overview of social, environmental and economic, as well as regulatory, legislative and practices around the reuse of IT materials sent to developing countries. Based on the experience of CF2M with their African partners, the guide offers practical methodological hints, tips and techniques . The guide can be downloaded at (in French)

A comic book illustrated by a Senegalese artist, which helps to educate young audiences (schools - high schools) to the effects of mindless donations of computer equipment to the South. It depicts a riendship story between young French and Senegalese who met on an internet forum dedicated to Senegalese music. The two teenagers fail to communicate properly due to power outages in Dakar. They eventually meet in the streets of the famous Senegalese capital and adventure leads them up to the hills of the Mbeubeuss landfill where electronic waste are piling up…

The comic is also downloadable at (in French). Hardcopies are available in the office of Enda Europe: the team is at your disposal to inform about any arrangements for purchase.


An educational exhibition of donated computer equipment "keyboards for all? Not at any price ». This is a lively and educational exhibition (information signs, maps, illustrations and graphics, simple texts to acquire basic knowledge on e-waste and reuse of computer equipment) enriched by the experience of people in the South. The exhibition consisting of 19 panels is also available for rental and sale. 

Project events:- Round tables in France and Senegal in 2010
- Travelling exhibition in France and Belgium in 2010 and 2011
- Launching of the comic book in France and Belgium.


Further material:

- Photos

- 3 newsletters (in French)

- Movie (with Sénéclic, in French)


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