Open your Windows - Tampere Open Mind Nov 2005


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Presentation about Open Source Software in Africa for the Open Mind Conference in Tampere Finland Nov 2005.

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Open your Windows - Tampere Open Mind Nov 2005

  1. 1. East African Center for OSS OPEN YOUR WINDOWS Reflections on the Use of Free and Open Source Software for Developing Nations Prof. Dr. Victor van Reijswoud Chairman EACOSS Uganda Martyrs University / 1 Victor van Reijswoud
  2. 2. East African Center for OSS Road map The role of OSS for Development Examples of OSS in Uganda Lessons and Way Forward 2 Victor van Reijswoud
  3. 3. East African Center for OSS Get the terms right Open Source Software (OSS) software from which the source code, that means, the work of the programmer can be seen and when someone wants, modify it Free software software that can be distributed and shared freely among friends and use throughout the organization Proprietary software Software developed and owned by companies and being sold or licensed to users at a fee 3 Victor van Reijswoud
  4. 4. East African Center for OSS The starting premises “A regime built around free diffusion of tools has an interesting characteristic: the degree to which a software tool can be utilized and expanded becomes limited only by the knowledge, learning, and innovative energy of the potential users, not by exclusionary property rights, prices, or the power of countries or corporations.” (Steven Weber, 2003) With Open Source Software tools users in the developing world can become creators in stead of consumers and can lead the poor to development 4 Victor van Reijswoud
  5. 5. East African Center for OSS Advantages and benefits Reduced costs and less dependency on imported technology and skills Affordable software for individuals, enterprise and government Universal access through mass software roll-out without costly licensing implications Access to data without barrier of proprietary software and data formats Ability to customize software to local languages and cultures Lowered barriers to entry for software businesses Participation in global network of software development 5 Victor van Reijswoud
  6. 6. East African Center for OSS Disadvantages and drawback Available support for OSS not well organized Finding the appropriate software no advertising of software Documentation idiosyncratic and sometimes nonexistent Limited best practices Hardware – software fit OSS often lags behind concerning new hardware 6 Victor van Reijswoud
  7. 7. East African Center for OSS OSS and Development Open Source Software has high development potential lower costs independence increased capacity development stability and security Strong push from development organizations India, China, and Brazil lead the OSS revolution through their success 7 Victor van Reijswoud
  8. 8. East African Center for OSS License fees and GDP per capita XP/Office license country GDP/cap PCs (000) effective GDP months Finland 23,295 2,197 848 0.29 USA 35,277 178,326 560 0.19 Uganda 249 71 18,010 6.13 Source: Gosh 2003 Traditional models for Cost of Ownerships need to be revisited in the context of the developing world 8 Victor van Reijswoud
  9. 9. East African Center for OSS Conditions for success (SIDA) - Intellectual property law framework and enforcement - Low-cost, widely available Internet access - Educational infrastructure - Freedom of information - English-skilled developers - Skilled and trainable developer pool Weakness in one or more of these areas are not a justification for the adoption of proprietary software but for improving on the weakness 9 Victor van Reijswoud
  10. 10. East African Center for OSS What is happening on the ground? Aggressive marketing from large software vendors Through development organizations/money Africa has become an emerging market OSS corporations fail to connect OSS examples in Africa are few and small size OSS misses championing projects and people Governments do not like the concept Lack of awareness Lack of prestige 10 Victor van Reijswoud
  11. 11. East African Center for OSS Case study – Uganda Martyrs University Private Catholic University 80km from Capital city – Kampala 2500 students - 7 faculties Leader in the ICT innovation in the country ICT infrastructure main campus 4 computer labs 250 desktop 100 connected laptops wireless internet connection and WiFi in the making 11 Victor van Reijswoud
  12. 12. East African Center for OSS Case Study – Uganda Martyrs University OSS was introduced when setting up the mail system – neomail Servers were gradually migrated (secretly) June 2003 – senate decides to bring OSS to the desktops (OSS policy version 0.1) Linux (SusE), Open Office, Mozilla.... migration team changed the student computers new computers get OSS automatically Migrated about 60% desktop, 90% servers 12 Victor van Reijswoud
  13. 13. East African Center for OSS Experiences – Migration UMU Selection of software alternatives Knoppix, SuSE Technical difficulties hardware and software Resistance students and staff Success/Failure? University project has attracted a lot of attention and new projects 13 Victor van Reijswoud
  14. 14. East African Center for OSS Case study – St Marys Secondary School Government (public) secondary school Day and boarding facilities O and A level 450 students and 34 teaching staff No computers facilities Fees €100 boarding - €40 day per term No expertise in the computing area 14 Victor van Reijswoud
  15. 15. East African Center for OSS Case study – St. Marys Secondary School Computer facilities are important for the status of the school Collaboration between ChangeIT and UMU Lab with 35 computers Running Kubuntu Internet access (dish) Remote maintenance Internet cafe for income Full implementation in August 2005 Through standardization a model project for other 15 schools Victor van Reijswoud
  16. 16. East African Center for OSS St. Marys Pride 16 Victor van Reijswoud
  17. 17. East African Center for OSS EACOSS East African Center for Open Source Software Started September 2004 to share the knowledge gained from the UMU migration Goal to promote the use of Free and Open Source Software (OSS) by all organizations Services: training certification advocacy consultancy 17 Victor van Reijswoud
  18. 18. East African Center for OSS Is Africa Ready for OSS? - Education and skills development needs strengthening - English language training needs to be encouraged - Intellectual property needs to be enforced - The price of Internet access needs to be regulated and investment in infrastructure are needed - OSS message needs to be promoted in among young developers 18 Victor van Reijswoud
  19. 19. East African Center for OSS The Way Forward Theoretical potential is evident To get reality: Appropriate support for developing countries Closer collaboration with between other OSS groups (active knowledge exchange) More lecturing material (start from the basis) and certification programs Success stories needed (especially in the Development Agencies) Acceptance of the OSS standards in the rest of the world (or opening up proprietary standards) 19 Victor van Reijswoud
  20. 20. 20 East African Center for OSSVictor van Reijswoud