African free software developers to gather in Uganda
Africa Source II, a week-long workshop that will bring together free software developers from across the continent, is to be held in January next year. The workshop will be held in Kalangala, Uganda, from January 8 to 15 next year.
The first Africa Source meeting was held in Namibia in March 2004.
According to organisers Tactical Technology Collective, a Netherlands-based NGO, the workshop will \”bring together nearly 100 technology support professionals, trainers and consultants working with the non-profit sector from across Africa. The participants will all have a history of working with service and advocacy NGOs, educational organisations, NGO resource centres, community centres and health information organisations.
\”The aim of the event is to facilitate learning and exchange between these communities, in particular around the practical deployment of free and open source technologies.
\”The intention is to move beyond conceptual discussions of the benefits of FOSS and technology in general, and to test out these ideas and focus on practical skill sharing between technology implementers in the region.\”
The \”Source\” events are held around the globe and focus on developing the potential of free software developers to create, deploy and support free software applications in their own countries, particularly in the NGO sector.
Past events have been held in Croatia, Namibia and India. Future events are planned for the Middle East & Northern Africa, Central Asia and Latin America.
Frederick Noronha, documented the Asia Source event in a short book, and Tectonic covered the first Africa Source event. NGO Bridges.org also documented the Africa Source I event in a very comprehensive report.
The primary themes for next year\’s event include migration and adoption of FOSS, alternative access, education and resource centres, using FOSS for information handling and advocacy, citizen\’s media, and localisation.
\”The workshop will focus on learning by doing, rather than by listening. We aim for a \’workshop vibe\’ as opposed to a \’conference vibe\’; we hope that elements like the location, shared housing, and the nature of the sessions keep the energy level high and the interest in active participation over passive learning strong.\”
The Source events are typically held in often remote or less-central parts of their host country with the intention of encouraging participants to live and work together for the duration of the week rather than just attend the sessions that interest them.
The Association for Progressive Communication APC, Fantsuam Foundation of Nigeria, Schoolnet Africa, Translate.org.za, WOUGNET (Uganda) and The Tactical Technology Collective will collaborate to organise the content of the workshop. Local partners for the event are the East African Center for Open Source (EACOSS), Linux Solutions and WOUGNET.
Developers and advocates that want to participate in the event, however, need to apply to the organisers before October 15. Applicants will be selected based on their interest and experiences.
A limited number of travel and registration fee scholarships are also available.