UK-based charity Computer Aid International (CAI) has donated 8,000 refurbished PCs to Nigeria.

The organisation has supplied around 100,000 fully refurbished computers to more than 106 countries in the past eight years, according to Anne Musyoki, a programme officer at Computer Aid West Africa. Musyoki announced the Nigerian deal while on a week-long visit to Nigeria.

The PC deal is part of efforts geared toward assisting developing nations in bridging the digital divide by making affordable PCs available. CAI has made donations to the Cooperative Information Network (COPINE/NITDA/FMST) at Obafemi Awolowo University, the Distance Learning Centre in the University of Ibadan and Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH) in Ogbomoso, Musyoki said.

Musyoki said she was in the country to examine possible partnerships that would enhance IT penetration. Partners would help CAI replicate programmes such as e-learning and telemedicine, which have been successful in other countries.

CAI is working mostly with secondary schools, health centres and other Non Government Organisations (NGOs). Musyoki pointed out that in the past eight years, CAI and its partners have been able to supply standard systems renewed under stringent conditions at affordable rates to people around the world.

"In Nigeria, we are talking with NGOs and Community Based Organisations (CBOs) to seek ways of opening opportunities for Information Technology (IT) skill acquisition, distance learning and telemedicine," Musyoki said.

For example, in Nigeria, PCs from CAI have been deployed in Ile-Ife-based training company Classic Infotech Systems, providing IT skills to youths in the environs, with more than 200 students benefiting since November 2007.