Free and open source software on agenda of workshops in Addis Ababa
A series of workshops on free and open source software tools and related policy issues targeting policy-makers, information professionals and development workers takes presently place in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa.
The 10-day event that runs from 10 to 21 July 2006 at the UN Conference Center and Addis Ababa University is organized by the Ethiopian Free and Open Source Software Network (EFOSSNET) with the support of CATIA, the Ethiopian IT Professionals Association and UNESCO
The workshops have been divided into 3 core segments each designed to deliver information and key skill sets appropriate to the needs of various IT Professionals and users. These include training for network administrators and IT support staff in the use LINUX and FOSS server-side applications; information sharing and training of NGOs and other development workers on FOSS alternatives to assist them in improving programme delivery as well as creating awareness among policy/decision makers in the public, private and civil society arena on such areas of FOSS policy as non-discriminatory procurement and indicators for assessing applicability of FOSS tools.
EFOSSNET was launched in February 2005 with the support of UNESCO and the UNECA. Since this time they have been carrying out a programme of awareness raising, research and training on the use of FOSS within the Ethiopian context. The group which started with a small core in Addis Ababa has now expanded from the capital to the rural regions drawing membership from development organizations, academic institutions, civil society and the public sector. They have also developed LucyNUX, a cadre of female members who are seeking to promote greater participation of women in FOSS and ICT4D activities.
In addition to their national networks, EFOSSNET has also been developing linkages with initiatives in other African countries and outside the continent. They are now chair holding members of FOSSFA, the Free and Open Source Foundation For Africa and are part of the global Linux User Group.