02 February 2009

Into Africa

If there were ever a region that could benefit immensely from open source, it is Africa. And yet South Africa aside, not much seems to be happening there, partly for lack of support for those evangelising there. This should help:

The Free Software and Open Source Foundation for Africa (FOSSFA) has received a grant from the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA) towards the FOSS Advocacy for West Africa (FOSSWAY) project. FOSSWAY is a one-million dollar project which is intended to entrench advocacy for free and open source software in the Western part of the African continent beginning January 2009.

FOSSWAY will advocate for FOSS and its use at all levels including academia, the media, and secondary, vocational, and technical educational institutions. The project will also advocate for consideration of FOSS issues in the formulation of policies and standards in the sub-region. The project shall not just promote, but also actively enable all participating agencies, schools, universities, standards bodies, media groups, advocates, groups and individuals to use and benefit from FOSS. Having drawn its project team from among the best of advocates, practitioners, technicians, developers, and trainers in FOSS from the region, FOSSWAY promises to push the benefits of FOSS beyond the boundaries attained so far, and increase the adoption and use of FOSS in the West Africa. FOSSWAY, in its cross-cutting nature, shall include FOSS research, hands-on training, competitions, media campaigns, on-the-ground roadshows, and prizes.

Let's hope this marks the beginning of big things for open source story in Africa.

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