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[News] Governments in Africa Invest in Free Software for the Public Sector

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West Africa to invest in FOSS Study

,----[ Quote ]
| FOSSFA and OSIWA, in their Free and Open Source Software for West Africa and 
| Beyond (FOSSWAY) project are set to invest in FOSS research in West Africa. 
| In the recently published Call for Tender both organisations are awarding a 
| research contract up to the tune of 65 000 US dollars for a Study to be 
| carried out in five West African Countries.    


The Trials and Tribulations Of Taking Open Source Public

,----[ Quote ]
| Companies, agencies, and organizations are interested in -- and exploring -- 
| their open source options. The timing is falling into place, and there's now, 
| obviously, a demand -- and a great opportunity -- for those offering open 
| source support services.   



Government CIOs keen on open source software

,----[ Quote ]
| “The move to open source software has not been as fast as we would have
| liked, but we are now entering a new era. In the past, open source
| deployments were mostly spontaneous and ad-hoc. We now have a more systematic
| approach.” In years past many government departments pursued their own open
| source migrations, usually in isolation from one another, and with varying
| degrees of success.
| [...]
| Now, says Webb, the State IT Agency (Sita) is assuming the role of paving the
| way for OSS migration by finalising standards and conducting pilot projects
| to make it easier for all to implement open source software successfully. ...
| Webb also says that Sita expects all government department websites to be
| running on open source software “very soon”.


Ubuntu in South African Schools

,----[ Quote ]
| Over the last month, I've heard that the government's licensing agreement
| with Microsoft is now about to expire and has not been renewed yet.
| Apparently, the Department of Education is now pushing schools into switching
| to Linux as otherwise they will need to budget for a couple of extra million
| just for software licensing fees.
| It's surprising to me though that they are only pushing for this now. They
| should have started the transition quite some time ago. Linux has matured a
| lot as a desktop operating system (with no small thanks to Ubuntu) and it's
| much better to get your learners familiar with Linux and decrease your
| dependency on any particular software vendor regardless of your current
| agreements.
| [...]
| So of course, now the question is, how many will start to adopt Linux?
| Obviously, as you can expect, there will be a lot of fighting and kicking by
| lots of the schools. The teachers know what they know and obviously feel much
| more comfortable sticking with what they have. However, money talks, and now
| the pressure is (apparently) on.

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