COMPUTING

“Africa needs open source vernacular software”, says PHEA

The time had now come for Africa to produce open software in its major local languages to make ICT accessible to all. John Schoneboon, ICT project associate at the Partnership for Higher Education in Africa, said it would help push Africa forward on the information technology highway.

"It is interesting that things are moving forward and it could be a good idea for Africa to have open source software in vernacular language," he told. The ICT specialist said such software would make e-learning a possibility in the continent. “Access to information plays a vital tool in the development agenda,” he noted alongside the ongoing sixth international open access conference being held in Lilongwe, Malawi.

Schoneboom said the continent also lack the capacity to effectively roll out ICT services to all its communities. Monopoly is the main cause of Africa’s setback in Information and Communication Technology, he added.

He said the biggest problem about monopoly would continue to exist if governments continue to exert strong regulatory restrictions on ICT service provider licenses. The Information and Communication Association of Malawi with support from the Open Society Initiative of Southern Africa (OSISA), Ubuntu Net and other local companies organized the conference which ends on Friday.

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