Green Computing in Kenya

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Strathmore University
Faculty of Information Technology

Green Computing in Kenya

Thursday April 10th , 2014

Abstract
The main aim of this paper is to look at what green computing is, why we should care about it and why it is becoming such a force in today’s world. The paper aims to tackle the advantages of green computing not only to businesses but also to individuals as well in their day to day lives. This paper also aims to look at different green computing implementations in Kenya in order to get an understanding of the current state of green computing in the country. Finally, this paper also aims to highlight key barriers and challenges to the implementation of different green computing technologies within the country and suggest a way forward.

Contents
Introduction ............................................................................................................................................. 4 Why Green Computing?.......................................................................................................................... 5 What are the benefits? ........................................................................................................................... 6 Examples/implementations of green computing in Kenya..................................................................... 8 Conclusion ............................................................................................................................................ 11 References ............................................................................................................................................. 12

Introduction
In order to look at the current state of green computing in Kenya, we first need to understand what green computing is and what it entails. According to San Murugesan (Murugesan, 2008) in his paper on Harnessing green IT, Green IT (Also known as Green ICT or Green Computing) refers to environmentally sound IT. It focusses on the study and practice of designing, manufacturing, using and disposing of computers, servers and any associated subsystems in an effective and efficient manner with minimal to no impact on the environment. These subsystems include things such as monitors, printers, and storage devices as well as other items like communication and networking equipment.

Murugesan goes on to say that Green computing also strives to achieve economic viability and improved system performance and use, while abiding to ethical and social responsibilities. It is for this reason that green computing covers areas such as environmental sustainability, energy efficiency, total cost of ownership as well as cost of disposal and even recycling. Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is one the fastest growing industries in the world. This is due to a combination of different factors, but more recently this growth has been fuelled by the following factors. The first is the rapid pace of technology advancement. The second is the continued drop in prices of various hardware which has led to increased demand and acquisition of said hardware.

According to Wabwoba, F., Wanyembi, W. G., & Omuterema, S. (2012) this rapid growth in ICT is creating lots of challenges especially within developing countries like Kenya. The first of these challenges is that ICT devices have much shorter lifespans. A good example of this is mobile devices which on average are replaces every 2 years. The danger of this is that it creates a lot of Electronic waste (e-waste) which is one of the fastest growing types of waste in the modern world today and one of the most difficult to dispose of in a safe and cost effective manner. As many third world countries rely on hardware donations, most of these obsolete devices will find their way into these countries. This not only increases the rate of harmful emissions, it also endangers the lives of people as well as the environment. This in turn leads to...
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