The IDLEL07 conference on Open Source solutions was held from 22nd to 24th August at Munyonyo Commonwealth Resort. The theme of the conference was Open source solutions for open government and open data in Africa. The primary goal of IDLELO7 is to increase the awareness, integration and adoption of free and open source software (FOSS) in Africa within the theme emphasizing how such Free and Open Source solutions are being used to achieve Open Data and Open Government frameworks. This entails promoting Open Source software sharing in Africa.
The speakers included; Hon. Frank Tumwebaze, the Minister for ICT and National Guidance. The minister said that the Ministry of ICT and National Guidance had prioritized research and innovation as one of the key areas of focus of the medium and long term. The minister also presented the ICT sector strategy and investment plan priorities innovation to create a systematic and enabling environment for the advancement of FOSS.
Dr. Elioda Tumwesigye, the minister of Science, Technology and Innovation presented on the role of FOSS in fostering science related software to the real-world problems and research and development is essential, and the government was committed to this. He also said that Software Development is young but with a gross potential
Nnenna Nwakanma; the Africa Regional Director Web Foundation from Ghana also presented on Open data for sustainable Development in Africa. She shared the confluence of Open things – Open Governance, Open Data, Open Solutions and tasked Uganda to join Open Data Partnership. She also encouraged young people to go past developing apps to providing solutions, for local problems and encouraged women and girls get into ICT and innovation
Seun Ojedeji, a member of the Free and open source software foundation Africa (FOSSFA) recognized that NITA-U has a role in drafting the nationwide FOSS policies. He also recognized communities like; COSIS, ILICIT Africa, Outbox, UN Global Pulse Lab, Women of Uganda Network, Incubation Labs MUK. He also officially invited NITA-U to become a FOSSFA Member. Mr. Seun announced the host of IDLELO8 as Durban, South Africa.
Other speakers included Mr. James Saaka, the Executive director of the National Information Technology Authority-Uganda (NITA-U),Linnet Kwamboka, the CEO of Data Science Kenya, James Wire from CURED limited Uganda and Professor Patrick Mangeni, a former NITA-U board member.
The conference was organized by the Ministry of ICT and National guidance in partnership with NITA Uganda, Huawei, the Free and open source software foundation Africa (FOSSFA), Makerere University.