Brazil’s National Economic and Social Development Bank (BNDES) announced Monday, February 13, its approval of the first direct transaction involving computer purchases as part of the Connected Citizen program.
The BNDES is lending a total of US$ 13.8 million for the Magazine Luiza S.A. department store chain to buy at least 22,000 microcomputers for resale on easy terms.
The government’s digital exclusion map shows that 55% of the Brazilian population has never used a computer and that computers are present in only 16.6% of Brazilian households.
The BNDES had already approved an earlier, US$ 2.1 million loan to the Pão de Açúcar ("Sugarloaf"), Americanas.com, and TV Sky-Shoptime groups, which also plan to facilitate computer purchases.
According to the BNDES press office, 7 million computers are expected to be sold in the next three years. 5 million of them will be for low-income Brazilian families, while the rest will go to micro, small, and medium-size firms. The computers will be sold at a cash price not exceeding US$ 648.
The Connected Citizen program, created by the federal government in 2005, is designed to foster digital inclusion by giving the low-income population greater access to information technology and the Internet at a lower cost.