NITA-U Executive Director James Saaka. Photo Credit/Chimpreports

The Government of Uganda through the National Information Technology Authority (NITA-U) will host the 7th African Conference on Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) and Digital Commons (IDLELO 7) in August this year.

Mr James Saaka, the NITA-U Executive Director said that FOSS would offer solid economic and developmental benefits. He cited opportunities for customising applications to suit the local business culture as some of the benefits.

“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,” Mr Saaka said.

According to NITA-U, the conference aims to support uptake of Open Source in Uganda and the region to accelerate innovation and local content development. It’s also aimed at sensitizing masses about FOSS and it’s inclusion in national policies by all participating COMESA members.
Various key players will also raise awareness on the positive impact FOSS can have for development and how industry partners can work together to develop a sustainable FOSS model best practice in Uganda. The Ministry of ICT recently launched the FOSS programme to stimulate innovation.

The African Conference on FOSS is a biennial activity, and  Kenya hosted the summit in 2014 where over 10 countries participated.