FOSS Development in Africa: The case of AVOIR
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FOSS Development in Africa: The case of AVOIR



A copy of the presentation I made at the SITA GovTech in Durban. It Captures:...

A copy of the presentation I made at the SITA GovTech in Durban. It Captures:
The need for polling on resources – Polling resources is very important for the development of any FOSS software, as indeed any community-based project.
Collaboration – an understanding of purpose among all the stakeholders is very important. From policy makers, funders, community leaders, software developers, to the end users.
importance of ownership
Need for qualified human capacity in the software development arena – in working together, we should continually look at ways and means of improving our human capacity and capital.



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FOSS Development in Africa: The case of AVOIR FOSS Development in Africa: The case of AVOIR Presentation Transcript

  • FOSS Development in Africa: The AVOIR Perspective James Njenga, University of the W. Cape
  • The Africa Virtual Online Initiatives and Resources (AVOIR)
    • Collaborative human capacity development
      • FOSS development and support
      • Unity in scarcity and diversity
    • Creating an ecosystem to foster innovation
      • Innovative software
      • Innovative processes
  • AVOIR – Building Pillars
    • Collaboration
    • Networking
    • Software development
    • Software projects implementation
  • Ecosystem Principles
    • Growth and sustainability
    • Replication
    • Collaboration
  • Products: Chisimba
    • A framework for rapid software development.
  • About Chisimba: MVC, Modular View User input System output Controller Process user input Handles communication Model Store state informatin Module Templates Logic Data Access Module Templates Logic Data Access
  • Chisimba Based Products
    • Discussion Forums
    • Content Management systems
    • Blogs
    • Online surveys
    • Wiki
    • Committe Manager
    • Postgraduate Management
    • Learning Management Systems
    • Presentations Manager
  • Example:
  • Presentations:
  • And many more
  • Most Visible Results
    • Over 100 developers have participated in AVOIR.
      • Most of them got training either as interns (including me) or in a workshop set up.
      • Most of the AVOIR trained developers who have left, did so to 'greener' pastures.
    • Lasting networks of developers
  • Challenges and Opportunities
    • Ownership
      • Failure to take ownership by all nodes
        • Creating business models
        • Strategic partnerships
        • Continuous human capacity development
    • Qualified software developers
      • Lack to keep the best developers
        • Continous human capacity development
        • Buy-in from other developers, even leisure developers
        • Mentored interships
  • Challenges and Opportunities
    • Getting the required user-base to support development
      • Lack of use of software products developed.
        • Improving user satisfaction and experience
        • Proper marketing
        • Building for the users, involving them in the porcess
  • Progress I have seen in government in the implementation of FOSS
  • What, in your opinion, can the South African government do to accelerate implementation of the Policy? Walk Talk the
  • Procurement strategies
    • Embrace freedom and openness
    • Consult widely (and the right people)
    • Strategic partnerships
    What procurement strategies, in your opinion, can government implement to enable the use of FOSS in government?
  • Questions? Comments?
  • Thank You
    • James Kariuki Njenga
    • Department of Information Systems
    • University of the Western Cape
    • Tel: 021 959 3243
    • Fax: 021 959 3522
    • Email:,
    • Twitter: @karitz
    • Skype: carice2
  • With Thanks!
    • The huts, african village
    • Building pillars, barn
    • Networks, nodes
    • Foot prints