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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Nwakanma retains seat @ FOSSFA till 2012

Nigerian-born Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) consultant based in Cote D’Ivoire, Ms Nnenna Nwakanma, has retained her seat to preside over the Free and Open Source Software Foundation for Africa (FOSSFA) for the next two years.

Her election came unopposed at the just concluded five-day Idlelo 4 conference and Annual General Meeting (AGM) of FOSSFA, which held at the Kofi Annan Indian Centre of Excellence in ICT, Accra-Ghana, at the weekend.

Also elected in the new FOSSFA Executive Council following the nomination of 21 council members from all regions on the continent of Africa, who constituted the electoral-college for the Exco to emerge, based on the group’s constitution.

These include Gambian Katim Touray as vice chairman, while Egyptian Samer Azmy of Geek2Live was elected secretary general, and Ugandan Milton Aineruhanga emerged Treasurer.

Nwakanma, who is the chief executive officer of nnenna.org, is a reputed consultant on Africa with expertise in development and communications, leading a team of cutting edge specialists on ICT, rapporteurs, researchers, trainers and language facilitators among others.

She was nominated by a council member Mr. Fred and seconded by Mrs. Dorothy Gordon. She would lead FOSSFA till Idlelo 5 in 2012.

The council also agreed to amend its constitution, especially in increasing the number of the exco members to accommodate the post of assistant secretary general and publicity secretary in the next election.

FOSSFA has its origin in the ICT Policy and Civil Society workshop held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in November 2002, which was convened by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, on the mandate of the Bamako Bureau established by the African Council of ICT ministers in the continent’s preparation towards the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), where it was unanimously resolved to create an interim civil society task force on open source tagged “Open Source Task Force for Africa (OSTA).”

The task force has since transformed into FOSSFA with the consent of its members to advocate for the use and implementation of open source solutions at the regional, national and local levels; urge donor governments that have already embraced open source at national levels such as Germany, Sweden, Norway and France to support Africa in this regard.

In addition, FOSSFA has the mandate to create a clearinghouse or knowledge factory - resources, database of local expertise on ‘Who is doing What’, website, CD-ROM, brochures among others and then define minimum standards, guidelines and advisory parameters for the foundation; building localized cum African capacity to work on software development; ensuring a discourse on open source during the National Information and Communication Infrastructure (NICI) policy processes and addendum for the NICI processes that have already been completed.

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