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Monday, May 17, 2010

FOSSFA, Digital Commons confab opens in Accra

The fourth conference of the Free and Open Source Foundation for Africa (FOSSFA) and Digital Commons, would today, Monday open at the Advanced Information Technology Institute (AITI) also known as Kofi Annan Centre for Excellent in Information and Communication Technology (ICT), Accra, Ghana.

Chairperson, FOSSFA, Ms Nnenna Nwakanma, made this disclosure weekend at the end of pre-conference workshops organized for some selected media practitioners and stakeholders on the continent on Campware, FOSS business model and Internet Governance policy framework.

According to her, the event would be declared open by the vice president, Republic of Ghana, Mr. John Dramani Mahama and would last till Friday, May 21.

With the theme Development with ownership, she said Idlelo 4 is poised to be the rallying point for ICT experts, exchange, showcasing, innovation, training and projects.

As at the time of filing this report, the exhibition structures are being mounted at the venue.

She also said that the conference would explore the use of open technologies in all domains of African economy, and provide an in-depth assessment of FOSS investments and use in the education sector in Africa.

Specialized tracks, Nwakanma said, would include but not limited to FOSS in governance, business, health, media innovation, civil society, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and open education resources.

She pointed out that the knowledge creation and sharing event would leverage on the outcomes of the 14th African Summit of Heads of State on ICT for Development of January 2010 to provide a forum for a ministerial round table on e-government practices, policies and trends.

The conference, she said, has planned for a community summit of users, especially women and the youth, and the software developer community, stressing this community forum will allow for an open consultation of global open source engineers, coders, geeks, and community managers with the end users of technology, while integrating user concerns and issues to the broader technological innovations, plans, strategies and trends.

Idlelo is a Southern Africa word that means 'a common grazing ground' with technical hands-on trainings, a community summit, plenaries, panels, workshops, professional examinations, awards, instalfests and high level roundtables.

The first edition (2004) of Idlelo held at the University of Western Cape in South Africa, the second (2006) at the Safari Park Hotel in Nairobi, Kenya and the third (2008) at the Universite Cheikh Anta Diop of Dakar Senegal.

Meanwhile, she said that first-ever African FOSS Reporter Award Competition 2010, unveiled a few months ago would be announced to recognize outstanding reporting for a general audience and honours individuals for their coverage of FOSS.

The competition, she added is run in partnership with Deutsche Welle and supported by Open Source Institute for West Africa (OSIWA) as part of an initiative to raise public awareness on FOSS.

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