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Wednesday, March 05, 2008

African CSO regroups for OOXML

The African Civil Society Organisations (CSO) are once more restrategising for the last part of the voting on the standardisation of the Office Open Extensible Markup Language (OOXML).

Champion Infotel recalls that at the last quarter, the Nigerian Information Technology (IT) community took part in the efforts to globally standardise the DIS 29500 Ecma “Office Open Extensible Markup Language (OOXML),” through a democratic means following a meeting of stakeholders summoned by the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) in accordance with the directives of the International Standards Organisation (ISO).

According to the ISO JTC-1 directive paragraph 48 section 9.8, national bodies were required to reach a consensus and precisely vote “NO with comments” if there remain unanswered technical problems.

The meeting paved the way for the nation’s voting pattern at the global voting on the draft OOXML on Sunday, September 2, 2007, which final voting has been slated for this quarter.

Champion Infotel investigations revealed that members of the Civil Society on the continent, are finalising strategies to advance participation in the final voting process in their various countries.

It was also gathered that the meeting would hold in Dakar, Senegal under the aegis of the Free Software and Open Source Foundation for Africa (FOSSFA), Third African Conference on Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) and the Digital Commons also known as Idlelo-3, as a side event.

Scheduled to hold between March 16 and 20, 2008, at the Université Cheick Anta Diop (UCAD) of Dakar,Campus Numérique de la Francophonie, Dakar, Senegal, is expected to attract African notables on Free and Open Source Software crusade.

Sources close to the organisers informed Champion Infotel that activists and national advocates in the sector including the President, Nigeria Computer Society (NCS), Prof. Charles Uwadia, Sunday Folayan among others, are expected to grace the session.

In addition, decision makers are likely to grace the forum in order to identify relevant partners for the proposed campaign.

Meanwhile, allegation is awash that some proprietary software giants are lobbying NGOs in the Asian countries to make a difference by way of supporting their course, which was part of discussions at the recently ended Internet Governance Forum (IGF) held in Geneva.

However, according to the Idlelo 3 website, Senegalese Minister of Infrastructures, Land Transport, Telecommunications and ICT, Mr. Habib Sy, would preside over the main conference and would be supported with the presence of Ms Geraldine Fraser – Moloketi, South African Minister of Public Service and Administration, Mr Moustapha Sourang, Senegalese Minister of Education and Ms Innocence Ntap, Minister of Public Service, Employment, Labour and Professional Oragnisations.

Idlelo-3 is poised to be a rallying point for FOSS expertise, exchange, showcasing, innovation, training and projects.


This third edition, the organisers said is important to African and would have plenary and exhibition.

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