One of the initiatives the Kenyan government has embarked on is the development of a high quality, affordable and locally assembled PC to wade of the influx of clones and give people access to affordable computers. I guess the reasoning behind it is that all the internet connection in the world isn't worth anything if people can't afford PCs to access the facilities. The computer is named Madaraka (Independence in Swahili) and is a collaboration consisting of 3 educational institutions and the government, a week before the expo began the Permanent Secretary had made it known that the PC would sell for about 200$ which made a lot of sense, considering that a clone can be acquired for about the same price and with a focus on functionality rather then aesthetics this would prove to be a good even not better alternative.
So yesterday while at the expo I headed to the Madaraka stand and to my dismay I found that the PC was retailing at price of Ksh40,000 about $650USD which was a far cry from the $200 USD (ksh15,000 equivalent) I had so hoped for, my sentiments were later on echoed by a Professor from USIU(Kenya) during the afternoon session. The specifications of the machine consisted of 192MB RAM (apparently they can add that if you ask), 15inch TFT LCD and I think 40GB hard disk although I need to confirm that. The question going through my head was "Why is Madaraka so expensive?" the PS later explained that it was a high quality PC with a very good warranty.
Today while going through my mail, I stumbled upon a post that really got me excited, the post was entitled High Security for $100 Laptop when I read it further I learned that there was an initiative to provide cheap $100 PC to children all over the world (Africa being a major beneficiary). The PC is green in color and is aptly named Green PC :-)
A left wondering will Madaraka do it for us or should we just wait for the Green PC?
Check out the specs here: