Another first world misanthropy joins my blacklist

Subject: Re: Kontakt über
Date: January 18, 2006 12:14:37 GMT+02:00

Hi Walter

I am having a particularly bad hair day today. Based on information at your web site,
and following up on some correspondence to a Linux User group in Germany wherein you recently stated, :


Mit den örtlichen namibischen Schulen ist zudem das Prinzip
abgesprochen; sie wünschen diese Konfiguration.

Unser Fazit: Dies ist konkrete Hilfe auf der Basis der Nachhaltigkeit
und kein westlich-imperialistischer Ausbeutungsansatz; dies ist auch
nicht westliche Entwicklungshilfe mit dem angeblich überlegenen Knowhow
europäisch geprägter Wirtschaftsmissionare.

Tatsache bleibt aber auch, dass auch in Namibia nur ein verschwindend
kleiner Teil der PC-Community für Linux votiert.


I find that your response is very typical of the many highly patronising first world bleedin’ heart drop ‘n run brigade that Namibia has had to deal with these past years – we spend an enormous amount of time repairing the damage done by first world organisations dropping boxes, providing some symbolic short term support and then buggering off before things really start falling apart !

Firstly, may I advise that you pay particular attention to the framework within which Namibia’s Ministry of Education encourages direct engagement by foreign philanthropists with LOCAL ICT deployment experts based in Namibia – run by Namibians for Namibians! To presume that your proposal for Namibia, without the consent of the ICT for Education Steering Committee, is “concrete help” is utter codswallop – in this regard I have directed my concerns to the relevant Ministry officials to deal with. We are happy to accommodate second hand computers donated by well meaning german citizens through Lions and Rotaries and their ilk, but under somewhat more stringent long-term cost of ownership models of support and service over three to five years.

Secondly, your insinuation that schools in Namibia have an express wish for M$FT WINDOZ 2000 configurations is either something you’ve picked up from M$FT persona directly, or it is a delusional projection of your purported adequacy as a German Charity! You’ve got this all wrong – Schools in Namibia are GRATEFUL for ANY computers, IRRESPECTIVE of operating system, CONDITIONAL on there being a guaranteed and appropriate service to support these technologies at such schools.

FInally, your suggestion that Gnu/Linux accounts for only a tiny fragment of the ICT community use in Namibia is completely incorrect, if not misrepresentation of the facts – only 33 schools in Namibia (mostly priviledged, private schools) use M$FT solutions by way of legacy – in excess of 340 schools (mostly underserved, underpriviledged disadvantaged schools) use SchoolNet’s Free and Open Source (FOSS) solution called OpenLab. Please be advised that this collective educational community of some 200,000 users are very pleased with these ICT resources, for simple reason that it is bundled with carefully considered and hugely affordable long-term service support, training, repairs and maintenance country wide, and coupled with affordable flat-rate 24/7 internet access….

Suggest you have a thorough look at SchoolNet Namibia’s website, and read some of my articulations at my BLOG

before you take any further UNILATERAL steps in delivering second hand computers with costly and unserviceable Windoz solutions to schools in Namibia, which may result in some possibly very painful international media attention to your German Charity.


Joris Komen
Director SchoolNet Namibia

On Jan 18, 2006, at 11:17 AM, wrote:

Hallo Herr Komen,

Wir haben von Ihnen eine Kontaktanfrage mit folgendem Inhalt erhalten:

“Please be advised that while your apparent philanthropy is noted with interest, you should be aware that Namibia now has an ICT Policy for Education, whereby any ICT project intending to deliver ICTs to schools in Namibia MUST obtain clearance AND approval from the Ministry of Education ICT steering committee – pls contact Khalid Bomba of GESCI or myself for more details –”

Wir werden uns umgehend bei Ihnen melden.

Mit freundlichen Grüßen,

das Charity Network-Team


Read my blog

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