The Meraka Institute is a national research centre managed by the CSIR.
The objective of the roadshow was to provide an opportunity for educators and developers of free/libre and open source software (FLOSS) to interact, understand needs, and assess existing FLOSS use to support education delivery in West Africa.
The representatives, drawn from different institutions in Ghana, Togo, Uganda, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Senegal, New Zealand, Ethiopia and South Africa, met to deliberate and propose solutions to selected software development issues of concern in West Africa.
Kim Tucker of the Meraka Institute's ICT for Education research area says: “The roadshow highlighted the wealth of talent on the continent, and the potential of FLOSS in Africa to become a source of innovation in ICT for education on account of the unique challenges we face.”
“The Developer Roadshow demonstrated the power of Africans to use FLOSS to solve real problems in education in the sub-region,” says Bob Joliffe, who is the Open Mentor focus area leader of the Meraka Institute's Open Source Centre.
John Antwi Nuamah of the AITI-KACE says: “The roadshow brought together people from different backgrounds to share experiences and work together on common problems. The participants realised that they share similar challenges and that this roadshow platform could help Africans see themselves as one people, facilitating faster solutions development to problems that exist in the sub-region.”
“I was extremely impressed with how much was achieved in five days by a dedicated group working together in an open environment,” says Dorothy Gordon from the AITI-KACE. She notes that the event planning had taught everyone how to get a good roadshow going. Many more are intended for the future in Ghana and in the sub-region. “The roadshow approach is an excellent way of consolidating the work achieved through on-line collaboration by face-to-face interaction involving the clients and developers.” Gordon adds that the continent needs its peer network of developers to actively pull together solutions that will allow Africa to meet its needs.
The event was sponsored by the Open Society Institute and the Open Society Institute, West Africa.
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