KAMPALA Uganda will host the 7th African Conference on Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) and Digital Commons (IDLELO 7) in August 2016.

The conference aims to support uptake of open source software in Uganda and the region.

Open source software is software whose source code is available for modification or enhancement by anyone according to online definitions.

James Saaka, The National IT Authority of Uganda (NITA-U) executive director, says: "The adoption of FOSS in Uganda stands to offer solid economic and developmental benefits such as localization offering opportunities for customizing applications to suit the local business culture."

Saaka noted that FOSS can expand the market for Ugandan software designers who would be able to sell and produce Ugandan products not only to the local Ugandan markets but also to the overall Ugandan international clients.

The Ministry of ICT has recently developed a Free Open Source Software (FOSS) Policy to provide guidance on deployment of Open Source Software and the use of Open Standards as a means of accelerating Innovation and local content development.

It is expected that holding the conference will raise awareness of the positive impact FOSS can have for development and how industry partners can work together to develop sustainable FOSS Model best practice in Uganda. Uganda's technology space is blossoming with ideas and innovations with the industry winning several awards.

The 7th African Conference on FOSS conference is organized after every two years and the most recent summits have been held in Nairobi (2014), Abuja (2012), Accra (2010) and Dakar (2008) and Johannesburg (2006)



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