SA open source task team to plan for action

By   |  August 22, 2005

Profiting from open source software is foremost on Mark Shuttleworth\’s mind and this time he is looking at how the country can make its mark as a global open source software leader. He is doing this by spearheading a gathering of business, government and technology minds in the hope of building an open source action plan for the country which he will present later this year to South Africa\’s president Thabo Mbeki.

\”The global momentum behind open source software is unstoppable,\” he said on Friday during the launch of the Go Open Task Team conference. \”The adoption of open source software is moving quickly … but the window of opportunity to take full advantage is only open for a small time.\” What South Africa needs to do, says Shuttleworth, is to develop an open source action plan. Countries such as Brazil are becoming recognised as open source leaders and South Africa mustn\’t miss the opportunity to do the same.

With this in mind the Go Open Source Task Team conference, to be held on August 22 and 23, will bring together government, civil society, corporate and academia to discuss the South Africa\’s national strategy on open source software according to the Open Source Policy document, with the aim of finalising a National Task Force for OSS.

The Go Open Source campaign promotes OSS by synergising resources, increasing awareness to enable organisations to take advantage of software options, said Nhlanhla Mabaso, Open Source Centre manager at the Meraka Institute, an initiative of the CSIR.

\”Mark Shuttleworth\’s participation in the conference is fundamental as he will be delivering the action plan to the Presidential International Advisory Commission later this year,\” sad Mabaso.

\”We feel the Go Open Source campaign is essential in establishing South Africa as a leader in OSS migration and policy adoption. OSS is already thriving in other developing countries such as Peru, Brazil and Spain and we feel that South Africa can overtake in the next few years,\” he said.

The Go Open Source campaign is the product of a coalition between The Shuttleworth Foundation, Hewlett Packard, Canonical, and the Meraka Institute. Go Open Source works to create a greater awareness, understanding and adoption of OSS in the South African and African marketplaces.

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