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IdleIo6 Conference: As it happened

The Strathmore fraternity has wound up the IdleIo6 conference where participants including ICT practitioners, developers andadvocates together with government officials interacted and consulted widely about free software and open source foundation for Africa.


They showcased results, shared experiences, exchanged challenges and reviewed progress on the continent in diverse domains and agreed on the way forward for the following yearsin the sector.

The forum wound up with a challenge to everyone interested on the latest technology in ICT to jointhe Free Software and Open Source Foundation for Africa (FOSSFA) association and reap the benefits that come with being a member.


Speaking at the conference, @iBizAfrica’s Manager John Matogo urged those from the African continent to take advantage of open educational resources which are freely available for use and redistribution.


“ICT promotes education by offering open source solutions and students throughout Africa should utilize them accordingly” he said.


The Conference that started on Monday 24 March was a forum for inclusive deliberations, assessments, strategies, and implementation of ICT policy, innovation, and trends. ‘Idlelo’ is a South African word meaning “Common Grazing Ground“. It captures the essence of FOSSFA’s existence as well as the fundamental objective of the conference.


The primary goal of the conference was to increase the awareness, integration and adoption of free and open source software (FOSS) in Africa and this year’s theme was ‘FOSS FOR DEVELOPMENT’. It emphasized how such Free and Open Source solutions are being used to achieve Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015.


Also speaking at the same forum, Dr. Joseph Sevilla who is the Director at @iLabAfrica noted that FOSSFA has achieved a lot of expertise in the development of open source solutions.


“Open source is not just about free software, it is about skills. This is capital for Africa and we are going to develop capacity with this expertise and make what we have make money for us,” he said. 

#IDLELO6 was a unique opportunity for those on the frontlines of the global fight against poverty to tell policy-makers what is going on in the field, which approaches have proven successful, and what challenges remain in their work to end poverty and hunger, improve health care, education, gender equality and build sustainable global partnerships.


FOSSFA membership provides numerous benefits including access to a wide network of FOSS advocates and experts. So far, applications for membership are now rolling and approvals will be made at the end of every month.Students joining FOSSFA will be supported in job and business recommendations besides being given Priority in the associations Training and Activity funding.

Members who join FOSSFA will get a chance to be leaders and champions advocating for FOSS for African development enabling them to become successful activists through principled leadership and high ethical standards.


Additionally, members will be getting Email Forwarding Address which provides members with a free fossfa.net email address. Thosewhosign up to bememberswillalsogetregistration discounts to participate in the FOSSFA conferencesandinvitations to participate/speak at conventions on FOSS related agendas.


The club fosters mentoring relationships between FOSSFA members and FOSS Clubs presentingopportunities for young proffessionals to bementored by International FOSSFA partners. Students will get volunteering opportunities that build leadership skills and offer networking opportunities besides getting subscriptions to FOSSFA newsletters,email alerts, and publications.

Most importantly, there isa publication of membership list information on FOSSFA’s website which serves as a platform for matching FOSS consultants with clients. It also includesaFOSSFA membership directory and competences.