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African Governments warming up to FOSS

After a number of year of FOSS advocacy,governments in Africa are beginning to warm to the idea of FOSS. Last week from Sept. 14-16th 2011 representatives from member states of The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) met in Nairobi to discuss the status of FOSS implementations in their countries.

It was wonderful to hear that governments in Africa are using FOSS in various projects. From simple websites using Joomla to setting up parliamentary record management systems.

FOSS Advocacy in East Africa

During the advocacy session it was realised that the issues affecting FLOSS in the various countries (Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania & Uganda present at the workshop were very similar. The following are some of the items that were raised:
1. The use of the term Free and Open seems to be more of a problem.
2. There are various uncoordinated efforts to promote and advocate for FOSS, sometimes seemingly to undo efforts of the other.
3. Inadequate technical skills to support open source projects.

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