African OSS foundation kicks off in Geneva

By   |  February 24, 2003

Update – Following months of preparation the Free Sotware and Open Source Foundation for Africa (FOSSFA) was formally launched on Friday night at the World Summit on Information Society (WSIS) prepcom II meeting in Geneva. At the launch secretariat member Bildad Kagai said open source solutions would drive improvements in productivity as well as quality of life in developing countries.

Shafika Isaacs, Executive Director of SchoolNet Africa, said there was a need to provide access to education and open source and free software should be seen as major tools in achieving this goal. Issacs said that a recent study conducted by SchoolNet Africa found that 54% of schools had never heard about open source and free software and the newly-formed FOSSFA is needed to develop awareness of the possibilities through outreach and awareness programmes.

Gideon Chonia Hayford of the University of Zurich said open source and free software needs to be embraced by Africa because it is viable, sustainable and cost effective. These, he said, are values important to the developing economies in Africa.

The first item on the agenda of the FOSSFA is to convene a free and open source software forum in Mauritius in July of this year. The forum, in collaboration with Aitec Africa, is intended to \”bring together participants from Anglophone and Francophone communities to chart a path and action plan for systematic and coordinated approach with regards to the development of Open Source and Free Software on the continent.\”

Read the FOSSFA mission statement

here.

Background articles to this one:

Africa prepares for open source launch in Geneva

Open source key to Africa\’s development

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