Software Freedom Day 2012 - 1st September 2012
Open Source Developers Challenge - 31st August 2012
Strathmore University, Nairobi
Theme: “An Innovative, Open Future for Sustainable Socio-Economic Development”
The success of the Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) development model has made immeasurable contributions to the development of information and communication technology (ICT). FOSS is software that gives the user the freedom to use, to alter and to share it. Since the software source code is readily available, the users are able to make changes to suit their requirements. FOSS therefore has very many benefits compared to the proprietary and closed source alternatives. This openness means that FOSS is the embodiment of innovation and collaboration.
This leads to better software, and ease of access to technology. The end result is that better and affordable solutions become available to enhance the quality of life of people from all over the world. This is is even more evident in poor countries where the large masses of unemployed youth can easily arm themselves with technology tools that can give them an opportunity to earn a living and improve their quality of life.
Today, open source runs most of the technologies that we use. More than half of all mobile devices being sold run the open source Android operating system. More than a 3rd of worlds Domain Name Server (DNS), run on BIND, literally the glue that keeps the Internet together, which is open source. Over 70% of the web pages on the Internet are hosted on the open source Apache web server, while about 95% of the world's super computers run on Linux, arguably the most successful open source project. Nearly all the popular social media applications like Facebook, Twitter, Google, LinkedIn, YouTube etc, are built on open source tools.
The Internet would probably not be as pervasive as we know it today if it was not for free and open source software. Today we have a future that promises openness. Kenya is only the first country in sub-Saharan Africa to launch Open Data. The Open Educational Resources and Open Learning are becoming important resources. The Wikipedia (built on open source) is a blazing success in Open Content development and collaboration.
The Software Freedom Day 2012 (1st September 2012) The Software Freedom day is a concept that was started by the Software Freedom Foundation and is aimed to celebrate the FOSS movement and community. It is also meant to educate the public about the benefits of using FOSS.
SFD is held every 3rd Saturday of September and organized by local FOSS communities. However, a team organizing an SFD event in their locality are free to alter the date to suit the local requirements and circumstances. LPA-Kenya last organized the SFD in 2007. We are now planning this event to be a yearly celebration in line with our strategic plan.
The conference will also be preceded by various training workshops which are aimed at imparting practical skills in the leading open source tools, which will be facilitated by some of the leading open source experts in Kenya.
This year´s SFD Kenya will be graced by Jon ¨maddog¨ Hall, the Director of Linux International. Mr Hall, or maddog as he is widely known, is a globally renowned Open Source advocate, having supported the early development of Linux. This involvement brought him to a very close working relationship with Linus Torvalds, the creator of Linux. He has worked for Western Electric Corporation, Aetna Life and Casualty, Bell Laboratories, Digital Equipment Corporation, VA Linux Systems, and SGI. It was during his time with Digital that he initially became interested in Linux, and was instrumental in obtaining equipment and resources for Linus Torvalds to accomplish his first port, to Digital's Alpha platform. He resides in the USA.
The guests of honour will be Dr Bitange Ndemo, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Information and Communications, and the Hon. Prof. Ayiecho Olweny, the Assistant Minister in the Ministry of Education. Other distinguished guests will be senior leaders in Government, Academia and from the business community.
Open Source Developer Challenge (31st August 2012)
Along with the SFD, the Linux Professional Institute (East Africa) will sponsor the Open Source Developers challenge. This event is targeted at students who are interested in developing software applications and solutions using Open Source tools.
This challenge is open to students in all Universities and tertiary training institutions who are studying Computer Science and other related courses. There will be various prizes to be won e.g. laptops, tablets, smart phones, training manuals, LPI exam vouchers and many more. The winners will be announced and awarded during the cocktail that will be hosted on the evening of Friday, 31st August 2012.
Along with the SFD event, LPA Kenya will also conduct various training workshops on leading open source tools in the week preceding the conference. for more information and booking details, please visit the LPA website at www.lpakenya.org