OPEN SOURCE SPECIAL

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FREE SOFTWARE AND OPEN SOURCE FOUNDATION FOR AFRICA LAUNCHED

The Free Software and Open Source Foundation for Africa (FOSSFA) was launched last week at the WSIS Prepcom meeting. Eric Osiakwan was there and reports on its founding statement.

FOSSFA believes that Open Source has the potential to improve productivity and quality of life in developing countries. Its vision is to promote sustainable, viable and cost effective Software Product for Africa through education and local capacity building.

It believes that Africa should investigate how to leverage the opportunities presented by the emergence of Open Source Software in the context of limited financial resources and expertise.

Its plan of action envisages FOSSFA working in partnership with Governments, Inter-governmental organisations, Civil Societies and other stakeholders will spearhead initiatives that build skills through education and empowerment of women and youth. It will also lobby all stakeholders to adopt Open Source as the platform to engineer solutions that meets the needs of the people.

FOSSFA will:

i. Create an Awareness of Free Software and Open Source in Africa;
ii. Build Capacity in Free Software and Open Source;
iii. Develop a Knowledge Warehouse of expertise in Africa.
iv. Develop the African Open Source Portal.

It intends to achieve these by:

i. Lobbying key organs such as Africa Union, UNECA, UNDP, Agence la Francophonie and NEPAD among others to support open source development in Africa.
ii. Leveraging various free and open source capacities and resources in Africa.
iii. Lobbying donor governments and other institutions to tie ICT funding to free and open source software.
iv. Lobbying African governments to adopt free and open source software.
v. Promoting open source capacity and skill development in Africa through education with emphasis on women and youth.

osta-secretariat@allafrica.com

DESKTOP LINUX SET TO GET ITS ACT TOGETHER

Responding to the overwhelming interest in Desktop Linux, representatives from key firms and organizations today announced the formation of the Desktop Linux Consortium, or DLC. The vendor-neutral association will promote interests and raise awareness of the emerging role and benefits offered by GNU/Linux on the desktop. Consortium members comprise both commercial companies and open source organizations that are developing and shaping the technology that will speed the adoption rate of Linux to the desktop.

jill@desktoplinuxconsortium.org

LINDOWS OFFERS CUT-PRICE LINUX NOTEBOOK PC

Lindows.com on Thursday last week said it was selling its first notebook computer, with a retail price of US$799 or half the cost of similarly equipped notebook computers from Apple, IBM and Toshiba that run more conventionalsoftware.