Portland, Oregon – December 14, 2009 – Linux Fund and the Free Software and Open Source Foundation of Africa (FOSSFA) have signed a landmark agreement to promote Free Software and Open Source in Africa. This historic engagement between two Foundations speaks to the success of the Community Summit and Foundations face-to-face meeting at this year's Open Source Conference (OSCON) which was held in San Jose in Silicon Valley.
Within the framework of the agreement, David Mandel of Linux Fund emphasizes that "Linux Fund will work to raise money to help fund FOSSFA projects and events that expand the use and development of Open Source software, documentation, data, and education in Africa. Linux Fund will also add information about FOSSFA to promotional fliers and other literature that Linux Fund uses at conferences and for direct appeals to potential donors”.
Nnenna Nwakanma of FOSSFA says she believes that Linux Fund support has come at a good time when FOSSFA has engaged in the ICT@INNOVATION project in South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Mozambique and Kenya http://www.ict-innovation.fossfa.net and the FOSSWAY (http://fossway.fossfa.net) project that sweeps across the whole of West Africa and Central Africa promoting and building FOSS capacities in those 18 countries. She also believes that the upcoming projects of FOSSFA on Policy Support to Governments, Management of Internet Resources, Open Source Certification, Resource/Competence Centers and Open Source Solutions for Governance will also benefit greatly from this collaboration. Finally, she believes the upcoming Fourth African International Conference on Open Source and the Digital Commons (Idlelo 4, Accra, Ghana, May 17 – 21, 2010) will be an important event to showcase results of this partnership.
Both organizations will disseminate information about each other's activities, initiatives, and operations on their web sites, at conferences, meetings and events. FOSSFA and Linux Fund are committed to expanding their partnership beyond funding to include joint projects and events plus strategies for information exchange between their diverse communities. The development of a system that would allow Open Source experts visiting Africa could be linked with speaking opportunities or short volunteer consulting projects during their trips is also under consideration.
FOSSFA is the premier African FOSS organization, and was founded under the auspices of the Bamako Bureau of the African Information Society Initiative within the mandate given by African Governments in 1995 to the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA). The Vision of FOSSFA is to promote the use of FOSS and the FOSS model in African development. FOSSFA supports the integration of FOSS in national policies and also coordinates, promotes, and adds value to African FOSS initiatives, creativity, industry, expertise, efforts and activities at all levels. FOSSFA partners with development organizations who share these goals towards a participatory and gender-mainstreamed sustainable development and the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals. The Foundation is already working with the African Union, the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), the State Information Technology Agenca of South Africa (SITA), the German Capacity Building International (INWENT), the Open Society Initiative of West Africa (OSIWA) and the Ghana-India Kofi Annan Center for Excellence in ICT (AITI-KACE).
Visit www.fossfa.net for more information.
Linux Fund is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides financial and advisory support to the free and open software community. Linux Fund has given away over $750,000 to open source events and development since its founding in 1999 using funds raised through its line of credit cards and direct donations.
Visit www.linuxfund.org for more information.