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Re: [tdf-discuss] OpenOffice.org articles in Linux Format March 2011


On Sun, Feb 13, 2011 at 19:22, adept techlists - kazar wrote:
> The per capita GDP in that chart for Ethiopia, for example (there are 15
> countries with lower GDPs) is $1,000. Once you take into account the
> rich/poor divide that is rapidly growing wider in all non-socialized
> countries, the vast majority of Ethiopians live on far less than $1,000 per
> year. Visualize what kind of computer they might have, or might have access
> to in an internet cafe even in Addis Ababa. And if you put yourself in the
> skin of someone living in Ethiopia, Zimbabwe ($400 per-cap GDP), Cambodia
> ($2,000), Kenya ($1,600), India ($3,400)  etc ... you'll see that spending
> $36 on RAM and $40 on a HD and $20 on a burner is truly out of reach for
> most of the world population. (and one must have a fairly recent model of
> computer to take advantage of "cheap" RAM and peripherals, as well)

You can't really use those figures to give you a view of what it's
really like "on the ground" in Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda etc
(all places I've been to , and spent significant time in). Yes there
are computers with only 256MB RAM around - but you're not going to be
running any modern office suite on these machines regardless of who
makes the software. I also would not consider these computers the
"norm"... just old machines that have been recycled and reused... btu
taht are being replaced there just as they were in the "west".

Things are changing rapidly in Africa. Take Kenya for example where
10 years ago, no one had a personal computer except the expat
population, and a few of the ultra-rich. Now it's only the very poor
who are still lagging behind. The fast growing middle class are all
buying laptops - or diaspora are sending machines "home" to family
there. This is something I also see happening in Rwanda and Uganda.

The point being... while hardware is relatively expensive in Africa,
it's not as harsh as it appears when you only look at the GDP.

C.

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