Free and Open Source Software in Africa

Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) - software that any developer can modify and improve - is an obvious way to go for developing countries - and the idea and its use are certainly gaining ground in Africa. One of the interviewees in this video captures the spirit nicely. As a child he would take his new toys apart to see how they worked - he never could accept the principle that things were closed to prevent understanding and improvement.

But there are obstacles - and they are within the very institutions that stand to gain so much. As another interviewee so rightly says - there is resistance within the administration of universities (even within the IT divisions) to adopt open source software. Watch the video - it's good.

The two projects profiled here, AVOIR and POLLES, are providing both the software to encourage eLearning and university administration in sub-Saharan and North Africa respectively, along with providing a platform for post secondary institutions to get applied training in software development. Connectivity Africa has been supporting these initiatives since 2004.

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