Dr Collins Yeboah Afari, Director-General, Ghana-India Kofi Annan Centre of Excellence in ICT (AITI-KACE), has launched the 2021 Software Freedom Day (SFD) in Accra.
The event, which is scheduled for 18th September, is on the theme, “Open Source for Digital Sovereignty”.
The SFD is an annual grassroots effort to educate the public on the virtues of Free/Open-Source Software and also to encourage its use.
The event is intended to create opportunities and add value to Ghana’s economy by enhancing business growth and competitiveness through the use of Open-Source Technology.
The SFD 2021 is being organised by the AITI-KACE and the Linux (Accra) User Group Ghana (LUGG) with support from UNICEF and the Digital Public Goods Alliance (DPGA).
This year’s event, which marks the 16th anniversary of the event in Ghana, is intended to create opportunities and add value to Ghana’s economy by enhancing business growth and competitiveness through the use of Open-Source Technology.
Dr Afari in his remarks noted that it was the duty of the Centre to help execute the aims and objectives of the SFD to help grow the information technology ecosystem in the West Africa subregion through training, research, consulting and advisory.
He said this year’s celebration promises to be the biggest event and would have discussions and thematic areas with a continental outlook.
He announced that the Centre’s own research and innovative team at their Bolgatanga research centre as well as other members of the community would be showcasing some indigenous technology solutions to societal problems at this year’s event, scheduled for the 18 of September.
Mr Fred Yeboah, Director of Research and Innovation, AITI KACE, said the programme of activities marking the celebration would be held at the AITI KACE in Accra and its Sunyani and Bolgatanga regional centres.
He said the programme of activities lined up for the celebrations of the SFD 2021 celebration included discussion sessions on state of open-source in Africa-Inter-country experiences, public awareness on impact of open-source technology on Ghana’s growth, introduction to Digital Public Good Alliance and Digital Public Goods and harnessing open-source to achieve organisational goals.
He said there would also be discussions on the potential of open-source for job creation.
Mr Yeboah, who said as part of the programme, a workshop would be held on the installation of Linux distribution as well as a demonstration of open-source software projects, also encouraged participants to come along with their laptops.
Mr Chris Szymczak, Youth Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Digital Public Goods, UNICEF Ghana, said UNICEF had long maintained that one of the main components necessary to develop healthy, equitable and safe digital solutions that could address societal challenges was an open-source approach.
“Open source enables what closed systems hinder: designing with the user, developing towards public good, rapid prototyping, the culture of sharing, transparent peer review and unobstructed multinational collaboration.”
Mr Sabra Asante of Linux Accra User Group, said participants at the 2021 SFD exhibition would witness how experts in Ghana were leveraging digital technology for the nation’s socio-economic development.