Access to Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is the key driver to educational, social and economic development for any society in today’s world. It provides access to knowledge and education, improves gender equality and contributes to the elimination of poverty. Unfortunately, the cost of new equipment, limited infrastructure and the lack of IT knowledge and proficiency mean that many people still have no access to IT.
Close the Gap aims to bridge this digital divide by offering high-quality, pre-owned ICT equipment donated by European companies to educational, medical and social projects in developing and emerging countries. This gives access to information at unprecedented levels, empowering underprivileged and disadvantaged communities living in developing and emerging countries. Even in the most remote areas in Africa, where there is no connection to the electricity grid, Close the Gap looks for innovative solutions. With our DigiTruck for example, a mobile, multi-functional IT lab fit in a 40’ container on wheels and powered by solar energy, we try to assure that nobody is left out in our quest for worldwide access to inclusive and equitable education and knowledge.
Since it was created in 2003, Close the Gap has received 460.000 computer assets donated by 340 companies. The computer assets that meet stringent quality standards are refurbished and sent to different projects (medical centers or schools for example). The computers that do not meet the quality standards and therefore, cannot be reused, are properly recycled. In total, 3.500 projects have been supported in 56 countries, and reached 1.700.000 people unique users per week.
At end of life, IT equipment does not have to be an environmental liability. Through responsible recycling it can pose new opportunities in communities creating green jobs, stimulating local economies and recovering precious material that can be used in new IT equipment.
The donation of your used computers to Close the Gap will enable us to support more initiatives and connect even more children and young adults to the information highway through ICT, which will empower local communities: We believe in making ICT accessible for everyone in a sustainable way.