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FOSS Vs Proprietary Software

It is always interesting that every time I get involved in a discussion about FOSS and Proprietary software, the FOSS enthusiasts always take on an activist approach. This in my opinion becomes the biggest hurdle that faces FOSS entrepreneurs. When I train the FOSS business models course, I am always keen to remind the participants to focus on the business.

Software Freedom Day Activity in Nairobi, Kenya

Nairobi had a series of SFD activities planned.

The first was student challenge which was organised on 31st August at Strathmore University. During this day a number of students made presentation on IT projects that they have developed or are currently working on that are based on FOSS.

A number of interesting projects were demonstrated.

Trainer of Trainers Course Kicks off in Senegal

The first french FOSS Business models ToT kicked off today 3rd Sept. 2012 in Dakar Senegal. This training has been named ¨Entreprendre avec les Logiciels Libre en Afrique¨ (EllA).The training brings together enthusiastic participants comprising of professors and entrepreneurs from various francophone African countries. There are participants from Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cote d´Ivoire, Mali,Niger,Senegal and Togo. This particular training has 7 women participants out of the total 26 who turned up on Day 1. The largest number in a ToT in the ict@innovation programme.

FOSS Business in Education

Today I was giving a presentation to Kenyan Teachers (primary & secondary school level) on FOSS tools and resources for education. It was refreshing to see great enthusiasm from a number of teachers on the willingness to adopt FOSS. What they however indicated is that they do not have skills to be install and integrate the technology into their institution.

Meaning Vs Money dilemma

The concept of FOSS is very appealing especially for those that embrace the spirit of the open movement. However, we all must eat or we will surely die and/or get kicked out for not paying rent. This fact slows down the growth of the FOSS in general and sometimes making FOSS products not be as appealing as their proprietary equivalents. We all are aware of the strides Ubuntu has made in the past few years, well I suppose this was possible with funding from Canonical.

In life we all have to deal with the Meaning Vs Money dilemma.

FOSS Creating More Opportunities for Women

The technology field is largely dominated by men. The statistics get even worse when you narrow down to investigate FOSS projects. However this trend is slowly changing with more ladies stepping up and participating in FOSS related initiatives. An interesting blog entry that I came across shows the daring act of one such lady. See here:

Updating of the Advanced Training Material on African Free and Open Source Software Business Models for IT SMEs.

It is yet another opportunity to provide input for the update of the FOSS Business models Training material. The training guide was first developed in 2007 by a team of experts in FOSS and business models.Minor changes have also been made in between that time and now. Since 2007 hundreds of participants, throughtout Africa has been trained using the guide. The FOSS landscape has also changed considerably over the years.

Ushahidi becomes more popular

The Kenyan FOSS based crowdsourcing and incident reporting application Ushahidi is getting great publicity. The application that came out during one of the darkest times in Kenya's history is shining star in Kenya's tech space. See this article that discusses more about its application in other parts of the world.

Former President of Nigeria Computer Society visits WaToT training

On 26th October, during Day 2 of the West African ToT, Mr. Samuel Tunde Njoku, a former president of the Nigeria Computer Society, visited the training programme and passed on some words of encouragement to the participants.
Recalling his earlier years as a student in the US, Samuel was glad to note the coming together of FOSS enthusiasts from various countries in Africa looking for ways in which people can better their lives using FOSS based technologies.

FOSS Business Models training kicks off in Abuja,Nigeria

On 24th October 2011, the first West African FOSS Business Model took off. About 20 enthusiastic participants registered for the training. The venue for the training is the resource centre in the Ministry of Education Office. After a highly engaging e-learning session it was great for participants to finally meet face-face. Participants are drawn from several west African countries.


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