" ITREALMS: Nigeria, Kenya battle to host Idlelo 5

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Nigeria, Kenya battle to host Idlelo 5

Nigeria and Kenya are now on the battle line to which of them would host the 2012 edition of the Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) continental bi-annual conference tagged Idlelo 5.

The fifth African conference on FOSS and Digital Commons will mark the 10th anniversary of the Free Software and Open Source Foundation for Africa and has been billed to hold in the first semester of 2012.

Disclosing these to ITRealms Online at the recently ended Idlelo 4 in the city of
Accra, the re-elected chairperson of FOSSFA, Ms Nnenna Nwakanma, said that at the end of the call for proposal on May 17, 2010, two countries expressed interest to host Idlelo 5 in 2012, namely Nigeria and Kenya.

The 2010 weeklong Idlelo 4 conference was held at the Kofi Annan Indian Centre for Excellence on Information and Communication Technologies (KAICE) in addition to a three-day pre-conference workshops and trainings on FOSS-related applications.

Also, Ms Nwakanma said FOSSFA council is studying the two proposals and would revert to members in the coming weeks, not exceeding this month, but enjoined the two contending countries to go back to their countries and continue to enhance opportunities that could aid their chances.

Nigeria’s proposal was made by Mandriva West Africa with office in Nigeria on behalf of FOSS community in the country and led by Dr. Dele Ajisomo, while the Kenyan proposal was submitted by the Strathmore University of Kenya and led by Dr. Joseph Sevilla.

The contending countries were equally asked to submit in addition to FOSSFA secretariat, affirmation of supports from related government, collaborating institutions and its agencies.

ITRealms Online gathered that usually following the decision on the choice of a country, FOSSFA’s programme committee would be set up to open invitation for papers and presentations of all topics and in all disciplines related to Free and open Source Software and Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in general.

Accordingly, sessions often consist of three 30-minute presentations and proposals which should be geared to that length, even as the committee may introduce a different format for some sessions after the proposals have been reviewed.

Noteworthy is that Idlelo conference was instituted to bring together Information Technology (IT) and FOSS experts from all over Africa and the world at large.

Further, the programme committee tends to capitalize on this strength by encouraging sessions that would address subjects of interest to a wide range of FOSS experts and put experts from different disciplines in dialogue with each other.

Additionally, the request for proposals to host Idlelo 5, FOSSFA said that bidders must be a member of the continental body, with affirmation from the government and has in existence, a national network of FOSS actors, propose a host institution and certain of at least three national partners in addition to the capacity to organise a high-level IT conference and having earlier participated in, at least, one Idlelo before the time of submitting proposal.

FOSSFA insists that proposal must be sent via electronic mail to its secretariat.

So far, Idlelo has been hosted in South Africa, Kenya, Senegal and Ghana, maintaining that all countries have equal chances to bid.

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