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Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Ghana leverages FOSS to leapfrog ICT industry

Ghanaian government has advanced plans to leapfrog its Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) industry with Free and Open Source Software (FOSS).

The Minister of Communications for Ghana, Mr. Haruna Idrisu, made this disclosure in Accra recently while declaring open the fourth African conference on Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) and Digital Commons at the Kofi Annan Indian Centre for Excellence in ICT Accra.

Mr. Idrisu who represented the Vice president of Ghana, Mr. John Dramani Mahama, said at the conference with the theme “Development with ownership” that the government’s plan is to leapfrog by using ICT advantage.

“… We want to own our application. We cherish the passion of young people to take their place to position Africa to assume its rightful place in the world,” he declared.

He also challenged the conference to come up with how African governments could resolve the challenges between the proprietary and open source software to its own advantage.

“Find out how we can use open source to drive electronic learning (e-learning),” he said, while enjoining African states to increase investment in ICT and urged for development of Open Source (OS) application in fighting cybercrime.

In his address, the chairman of the occasion and Director, ICT at the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Dr. Sola Afolabi, said that they were excited that Ghana, a member state is hosting the Idlelo 4 meeting, this year.

“Ghana is proud member of ECOWAS and ECOWAS is proud to be here,” he asserted, stressing that ECOWAS is implementing some regional projects to transform the community from community of things to community of people through its regional Wide Area Network (WAN).

Today, he said, Open Source has grown to become a key in mission critical applications, pointing out that nowadays Africa has seen FOSS as a veritable option for accelerated development and maintenance in addition to advancing capacity.

Therefore, Dr. Afolabi said that ECOWAS is interested in partnering with FOSSFA in implementing the outcome of the conference.

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