Free software gets a new home in East Africa

By   |  June 22, 2004

The free and open source software (Foss) community has got a new home in East Africa. A recent venture between Linux Solutions, the International Institute of Communication and Development and Uganda Martyrs University has led to the formation of the East African Centre for Open Source Software (EACOSS). Wire Lunghabo James, managing director of Linux Solutions, says EACOSS intends offering FOSS training for the \”growing army of ICT professionals in the region\”. The center is initially focused on developing these skills in Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi.

James says the mission of EACOSS is to \”promote the use and access to Free and Open Source Software in the East African community and contribute to its development through empowering people with ICT skills.\” The center was established in April of this year and is based in Kampala, Uganda.

The center is established on the premise that through the use of open source software the digital gap between the advanced nations and the developing nations can be bridged and poverty reduced, says James. \”Lower costs, access to software for all and improved capacity development provide that starting point\”.

EACOSS has already introduced training, certification and free access to software in the EACOSS center. \”It enables people from around the region learn more about effective, affordable and appropriate software technology to use for development in Africa.\”

“At EACOSS we believe that FOSS solutions are an opportunity for Africa to leapfrog into the information age. The current hurdle that needs to be skipped has more to do with skills and that is the gap that this center is aiming to fill,” says James.

For more information on EACOSS email eacoss@umu.ac.ug

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