Ghana pursuing open source policy – Minister

By   |  April 25, 2007

The government of Ghana is serious about free and open source software. This is according to Ghanaian communications minister Mike Oquaye who was speaking at a free and open source software media training conference in Ghana’s capital Accra yesterday.

Oquaya, speaking at the Fossfa-hosted media workshop in the West African nation told delegates that government had already “tasked the Ghana-India Kofi Annan Centre of Excellence in ICT to spearhead the national consultation process on open source policy and to provide an initial draft document for our consideration”.

The minister also said that “Ghana’s legislators, of which I am a member, use Linux to support the computing facilities at Parliament House”.

Minister Oquaya said that the use of free and open source software was important to the government of Ghana because it allowed them to reduce costs and retain ownership of its own technology.

“In some way this decision to invest in building our knowledge of open source solutions shares similarities with our decision to become independent those 50 years ago. Again we see the central issue of ownership and control. We want to own the technology we use. We want to have some degree of control over our technology options,” Oquaya said.

Oquaya also said that free and open source software use was increasing in the private and educational sectors. “More and more institutions are exploring the use of open source solutions particularly in our banking sector. I am very pleased to note that the Ghana-India Kofi Annan Center of Excellence in ICT has migrated its entire server services to open source, thereby reducing costs and improving security. Further, it is offering extremely relevant courses in open source including courses which have been tailored to specific client needs.”

The week-long FOSS media workshop is being hosted by the Free Software and Open Source Foundation for Africa and runs until Friday.

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