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Achieving Millennium Development Goals Through Community Software

Achieving Millennium Development Goals Through Community Software Presentation By: Bildad Kagai Free Software & Open Source Foundation For Africa (FOSSFA) P.O.Box 20311-00200 Tetu Flats-Opp Liason Hse,State Hse Avenue Nairobi Tel:254-20-2728332 Fax:254-20-2726965 Email: fossfa@fossfa.net

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Achieving Millennium Development Goals Through Community Software

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  1. Achieving Millennium Development Goals Through Community Software Presentation By: Bildad Kagai Free Software & Open Source Foundation For Africa (FOSSFA) P.O.Box 20311-00200 Tetu Flats-Opp Liason Hse,State Hse Avenue Nairobi Tel:254-20-2728332 Fax:254-20-2726965 Email: fossfa@fossfa.net

  2. INTRODUCTION This presentation will introduce: • FOSSFA, Its Vision and Strategy • FOSS & MDGs • IDLELO2 Conference


  4. FOSSFA - BACKGROUND • FOSSFA started in November 2002 at UNECA Civil Society Workshop (Formed the Open Source Task Force For Africa) • Formally constituted in Geneva on February 2003 during WSIS Prep Com 2 • FOSSFA Action Plan adopted and endorsed by Committee on Development Information (CODI) in May 2003 • Endorsed by 53 CODI member States • Held the first Pan African FOSS conference dubbed as IDLELO1 in Cape Town in January 2004. 250 Delegates attended • FOSSFA and its partners to host IDLELO 2 in Nairobi, Kenya with emphasis on FOSS in Business and how FOSS can be used to achieve the Millennium Development Goals.

  5. WHAT IS FREE AND OPEN SOURCE SOFTWARE (FOSS) • Software that can be accessible freely • Source code is available • Software can be altered to suit users needs • Software can be re-distributed freely without violating copyrights “ SOFTWARE INCAPABLE OF CREATING MONOPOLIES” “SOFTWARE THAT PROMOTES SHARING” “SOFTWARE THAT MAINTAINS YOUR FREEDOM”

  6. BENEFITS OF FOSS IN THE AFRICAN CONTEXT • Sovereignty & Security Issues • Software that will induce growth of Local Software industries • Software that will induce economic development tapping on local talent and human resources • Stimulate hardware market. Now cheaper to assemble clones than bringing refurbs despite taxes on parts – Kenya’s Experience • Encourage use of local Software at National Levels • Not war on Microsoft or any other proprietary vendor • Not war on copyrights • Translations to local languages (www.translate.org.za , www.kilinux.org ) • Business Not As Usual

  7. AFRICA IT INDUSTRY IN SUMMARY • Africa's ICT infrastructure is sparsial and on the lower-side, characterised by small but modern ICT facilities in the urban areas and minimal or no ICT infrastructure in the rural areas. • Majority of the African population (about 90%) lives in the rural areas • Common economic problems facing any developing country are prevalent. Lack of resources and ICT skills, a skewed educational system (with emphasis on the use and development of proprietary software), lack of Governments commitment to promote local ICT products and the rampant trend to worship products from the west. • Governments have lacked the commitment to promote the production of local content and in turn have burdened the ICT industry with inefficient monopolies that greatly increase the cost of ICT services • ICT industry is characterized by small scale local businesses and distribution channel partners for the large multinational companies with no interest in building capacity for the locals. • High level corruption in Africa is rampant, bribes and kickbacks

  8. FOSSFA – THE VISION • Create Awareness of Open Source software through advocacy. • Build Capacity in Open Source software through Training; • Develop a Knowledge Warehouse of expertise in the countries/continent. • Development of national and regional Open Source Portals. • Ensure that technical experts in Africa have full opportunity to participate in the development of open source software. • Encouraging change of policies in African governments to adopt its use; • Research and Development; • Product Development uniformly across Africa;

  9. PART B: FOSS & MDGs

  10. FOSS- ACHIEVING THE MILLENIUM DEVELOPMENT GOALS Promoting FOSS in Governments will help in achieving the following MDGs : • Achieving universal primary education • Open Educational Content • FOSS + LTSP • Developing a global partnership for development • FOSS Development Model (Collaboration to develop unique ICT Solutions for Africa) • FOSS to reduce the Digital Divide and Help Africa Participate in the Global eMarkets • Eradicating extreme poverty and hunger • FOSS will create employment and lower entry barriers • FOSS will support other industries (Hardware and Application Services Hosting) • Promoting gender equality and empower women • FOSS will promote the participation of Women and the Marginalized in Software Development

  11. WHY IS FOSS SIGNIFICANT IN ACHIEVING THE MILLENIUM DEVELOPMENT GOALS Increased use of FOSS is sustainable development, because FOSS is a technology that the local people (in Africa or anywhere) can understand, maintain, and adapt to other needs. Use of non-FOSS software is not true development, because the users are helplessly and permanently dependent on a single developer, who alone can fix or change it. In addition, closed software creates a user only community, preventing users from becoming developers of software.


  13. WHAT IS IDLELO2? The Second Pan African Conference on Digital Commons to be held at the Nairobi Safari Park Hotel in Nairobi, Kenya from the 23rd to 25th February 2006. The first IDLELO Conference which attracted over 250 delegates was held in January 2004 in Cape Town, South Africa. www.fossfa.net/idlelo2

  14. THE OBJECTIVES • Stimulate a local FOSS Software Industry in Africa by the end of the Conference. • Bring together Practioners, Decision Makers and FOSS Software Developers to learn how FOSS works.

  15. THE TARGET AUDIENCE • Key Decision/Policy Makers in African Governments with emphasis on The Central Government/E-Government Teams, Ministry of Education and The Ministry of Health. • FOSSFA/GNU Linux User Groups National Leaders • Leading FOSS Industry players from the Private Sector

  16. IDLELO2: INCORPORATING GENDER IN FOSS During the Africa Development Forum (ADF4) held in Addis Ababa Ethiopia in 2004, Delegates requested the working group on ICTs and Governance to explore the challenges that hinder active participation of young Women in Software Development. IDLELO2 was identified as a potential opportunity to gather opinion on this issue.


  18. THEMATIC DISCUSSIONS • FOSS & E-Government • FOSS & Health • FOSS & Education • FOSS & Local Entrepreneurship • FOSS & Local Authorities (Sponsored Session by UNITAR) • FOSS Exhibitors

  19. THEMATIC DISCUSSIONS • Challenges on Internet Access & Bandwidth • Challenges for Civil Society & FOSS • Challenges on African FOSS Local Entrepreneurship • Exhibitors Presentations

  20. THEMATIC DISCUSSIONS – TIME LINES • Discussions to be held in IDLELO2 mailing list forum with about 500 members. • Discussions will seek to develop common positions on the following issues; 1. FOSS & Gender. Role of FOSS in Civil Society - May 2005 2. FOSS & Education - June 2005 3. FOSS & E-Government - July 2005 4. FOSS & Health - August 2005 5. FOSS & Local Entrepreneurship - September 2005 6. FOSS Challenges related to Internet Governance, Access & Bandwidth- October 2005 7. FOSS Challenges related to Intellectual Proper Rights & Copyrights. - November 2005 8. Stimulating a FOSS Industry in Africa - December 2005.

  21. FINANCING THE CONFERENCE • Estimated project budget is € 750,000 • Sponsorship of €10,000 from HIVOS to facilitate discussion of FOSS and Gender • Positive feedback on IDLELO2 Funding Proposal from World Bank, European Union and IFC • The FOSSFA Council Actively engaged in Fund Raising

  22. IDLELO2- THE DELIVERABLES • FOSS Charter (To be adopted by Delegates after the Conference and African Governments) • FOSSFA Action Plan • Handover of FOSSFA Secretariat from Circuits & Packets Communications Ltd to CSIR/MERAKA.


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