FOSSFA RATIFIES CONSTITUTION, ELECTS COUNCIL
The Free Software and Open Source Foundation for Africa(FOSSFA) last week ratified formally its constitution and elected a new council to take the organisation forward for the next to years.
The constitution was ratified during the annual general meeting which was held yesterday during the Idlelo2 conference in Nairobi, Kenya.
The Fossfa constitution has been in draft format for the past two years. Bill Kagai, outgoing Fossfa co-ordinator, says he is glad that the constitution has been finalised. "The constitution was originally submitted to the Council for discussion almost two years ago and has only now been adopted because this was the first opportunity to have members present for an AGM."
A key issue during the ratification process was the need for an increase in the current eight council member quorum requirement. There were members unhappy with the current requirement expressing concern that there would be an opportunity for abuse. These fears were, however allayed and the constitution was ratified unamended with instruction to the incoming secretariat -- Meraka -- to address any amendments required within the next three months.
The primary issue on the agenda was the election of a new Council for the 2006-2008 period. After lengthy -- and often heated -- debate, a new council was elected of 26 members. The council consists of members from East, West and Southern Africa with no representation from North and Central Africa.
On Saturday the secretariat of Fossfa will be handed over to South Africa-based CSIR Meraka Open Source Centre. Kagai says he is confident that open source in Africa is in its best position ever and the handover to Meraka will add important organisational skills and resources to the organisation.