Linux4Africa: Bridging the Digital Divide

Tanzania, Mozambique, FreiOSS e.V.


In Germany, there are 600 computers per 1000 people. In Mozambique, there are 6 computers per the same number of people. Almost no African school child gets the chance to use a computer which equates to bad conditions for surviving in a digital knowledge society.


Linux4Africa bridges the digital divide bet­ween the North and South. Schools in Africa are pro­vided with computers and open source soft­ware. Modern com­muni­cation tech­nologies creates oppor­tunities for social and economic develop­ment.



Kenya - Mission Accomplished!

Following the delivery of three palettes worth of diverse IT materials (computers, screens, routers etc) to St Scholastica Catholic School (SSCS) in Ruaraka in December, Frei-OSS members Hans-Peter Merkel, Michael Scholtz and his son Stefan set off for Kenya in January to take care of some necessary installations and updates. Read on

News from Linux4Africa

At the beginning of October, Linux4Africa sent three palettes of hardware to Nairobi. After a little back and forth, the palettes have now made it through customs. In January, the team will fly to Nairobi to help install the hardware and train teachers on site. Read on

Linux's Mission in Kenya

Linux4Afrika has started on a new mission: to equip the St. Scholastica School in Nairobi, Kenya with new computers and screens. Two years ago, one of St. Scholastica's classrooms was hooked up to the net; now, a second classroom will be connected to the server while existing hardware will be examined and supplied with more power. Read on

2014: Linux4Afrika on the Road

After a busy year delivering large numbers of computers and hardware from storage halls in Freiburg to Kenya, South Africa and Ghana, the team from Linux4Afrika will, in 2014, focus on the installation and maintenance of the computers. Read on

A pause on collections for Linux4Afrika

Over the last few weeks, a number of large deliveries were sent sent on a trip from Freiburg to Kenya, South Africa and Ghana. The goods are scheduled to arrive (hopefully in good order) on African shores by the end of the year. The shipment means that Linux4Afrika's halls are completely empty – and will remain that way for the time being. Read on

Donations from customs offices

After the customs office in Freiburg had been given 124 PCs to Linux4Afrika in April a second delivery from the customs office in Lörrach the amount of PCs in the Linux4Afrika storeroom had risen to about 300. The smart Esprimo PCs will now be equipped with hard drives which were kindly provided by the company Hetzner. Read on

Project Description

Overcome the digital divide, open up new perspectives

Access to the digital world means access to free information. In most parts of Africa, accessing a computer or the internet is an arduous task, and having one’s own internet connection is a rare thing. At the same time, education is key to battling poverty.

Linux4Africa collects donations and used computers (as well as accessories such as screens, keyboards and cables) in Europe and equips them with Linux software, eliminating the need to purchase expensive licenses. The second hand computers are tested, cleaned and furnished with the Linux Terminal Server Project (LTSP). As part of this project, old computers (Thin Clients) are hooked up to a high-speed computer (Server). This allows the application of new Open Source software on old computers, such as OpenOffice, as this program would then run via the Server. As a result, the Thin Clients do not require hard disks. Every processor is fully configured and ready to use when it is shipped off in containers. Sending one container costs approximately 2,500€.

The computers are delivered to partners onsite in Africa who are then responsible for the distribution and installation in schools in Tanzania and Mozambique. Repairs, such as swapping defective hard disks, are taken care of by local partners such as Cenfoss in Mozambique, Hilltop Centre in South Africa, and Agumba Computers in Tanzania. Donations are put towards acquiring the Server as well as transport costs.  


Linux4Africa aims to bridge the digital divide between developed and developing countries, especially in Africa, by supporting access to information technology. This is done through the collection of used computers in Germany, the Terminal Server Project and Ubuntu software which is open source, and by providing support to the involved schools and institutions such as hospitals and other important facilities.

Contact: e.V. c/o Hans-Peter Merkel, Johann-Schill-Str. 24, D-79232 March-Buchheim  

Further information about the Linux Terminal Server Project.