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NewsBridge Africa benefits from TechSoup hardware donation initiative

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Mr Charles Vandyke of WACSI (left) handing one of the laptops to Mr. Dogbevi.

NewsBridge Africa has benefitted from a hardware donation initiative by TechSoup and the West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI).

The Executive Director of NewsBridge Africa, Emmanuel K. Dogbevi, who is also the Managing Editor of Ghana Business News, received the two 10th Generation HP laptops from the offices of WACSI in Accra Wednesday March 31, 2021.

The donation is part of 102 laptops that will be given to 40 CSOs in six West African countries and one country in Central Africa: Nigeria, Benin, Ghana, Sierra Leone, The Gambia, Liberia and Cameroon.

According to the donors, the decision to give laptops to the CSOs was informed by findings from an empirical research conducted by WACSI in 2020 with support from Wilde Ganzen. The research sought to understand the extent to which COVID-19 has affected CSOs in six of the seven countries, excluding Benin.

The findings also highlighted the fact that CSOs have greatly been affected by the pandemic, which has been exacerbated by the fact that technology has been an indispensable tool that facilitates the work of CSOs during the pandemic.

Several organisations admitted, during the study, that they have some capacity challenges that impede their effective use of technology. This, the donors said, manifests in either of two ways; weak soft skills to utilise existing technological tools that are in high demand during the pandemic, and insufficient technological equipment to effectively carry out their daily operations.

As a result, WACSI and TechSoup initiated the WACSI-TechSoup hardware donation support for nonprofit organisations from seven countries.

The donation initiative, they say, is a significant step in the process of supporting civil society organisations across West Africa to bridge existing technology gaps.

“The deficit in technology equipment, especially computers, is a major obstacle to the capacity of organisations in delivering their social impact mission, due to limited funds and conflicting budget priorities. The initiative, which took off on March 5, 2021 is part of WACSI’s effort in enabling some 40 organisations to offset operational costs to enable them to maintain communication, strengthen their operations, improve their responsiveness and boost their impact, amidst the Covid-19 pandemic and related challenges,” they said,

Commenting, Mr. Dogbevi said, “For us at NewsBridge Africa and Ghana Business News, these donations couldn’t have come at a better time. We had a fire raze down our offices last November 2020, and we lost so much. These donations are therefore, timely and valuable to our work and we are grateful to the donors.”

“The TechSoup technology donation programme is a much welcome programme that has helped to alleviate the burden from civil society in the region. Since the programme started in 2017, it has benefitted about 300 organisations and enrolled more than 1,000 in total,” said Franck Sombo, Head, Monitoring and Evaluation Unit at WACSI, who oversees the TechSoup donation programme.

By Ben Mensah

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