CITI backs free software

By   |  September 15, 2006

The Cape IT Initiative (Citi) today announced its support for free and open source software saying they see huge opportunity in FOSS and do not believe that Africa afford to pay billions of dollars into the coffers of offshore proprietary multinationals

“On September 16 the world celebrates Software Freedom Day and CITI would like to take this opportunity to re-affirm our commitment to grow the free and open source movement in the Western Cape,” Citi executive director Viola Manuel said in a public statement.

Manuel said the organisation, which works to promote the growth of ICTs in the Western Cape, believes there is “tremendous growth opportunity in the Western Cape through the support of our FOSS developers”.

“CITI believes that we can create a development hub here in the Western Cape, attracting foreign currency, growing our local skills and attracting foreign investment into our economy.

Manuel also said that Citi believes that “Africa simply cannot afford to have billions of dollars in licensing revenue moving off the continent and into the coffers of multinationals.

“If we could retain that money, imagine what we could achieve in terms of local skills development, job creation and the development of our own intellectual capital,” she said.

She said free and open source software should be embraced and promoted at the highest level.

“We have been heartened by the support for FOSS at municipal and provincial level but we need this to [also] be reflected at a national level.”

“We urge you to become involved. Investigate the potential for using or developing FOSS solutions yourselves, you will be pleasantly surprised at what you find,” said Manuel.

“CITI has a dedicated open source promotion strategy and we urge our members to attend our FOSS events where they can learn more about policies, technologies and business opportunities.”

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