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The following page provides an overview of some of the activities, which Balthas Seibold has implemented for InWEnt – Capacity Building International of Germany related to Africa (now part of GIZ). In addition to a programme and news section below, some key presentations, course material and publications are available, as well as information on FOSS action in Asia. The issue of “Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) for Development” is a common thrust of most of the programmes and news. Therfore, a special section on this site reports on some of the definitions, advantages and challenges related to FOSS in the field of capacity building. Below, you find all  major programmes blogging related to FOSS and Africa.

Main programme I: ict@innovation – Creating Business and Learning Opportunities with Free and Open Source Software in Africa

logo ict@innovation The ict@innovation programme has been building capacities in African ICT small and medium enterprises to make a business with Free and Open Source Software (FOSS). Through enhanced knowledge on FOSS business models in African contexts, FOSS technical certifications, and practical skills in FOSS application development, ict@innovation aims to encourage the growth of African ICT industries, particularly in Southern and East Africa. ict@innovation is a  community programme of the Free Software and Open Source Foundation for Africa (FOSSFA), which was co-founded by FOSSFA and GIZ (formerly InWEnt).

 

Main programme II: it@ab – the Southern African Network on “Information Technology in African Business”

logo it@ab border= it@ab – the Southern African Network on “Information Technology in African Business” provided state of the art know-how in the field of ICT and opens e-business opportunities to enterprises, institutions as well as governmental and educational/commercial organisations. it@ab promoted local business development as well as regional business cooperation and connected the movers and shakers of ICT in SADC. InWEnt in cooperation with reputed IT consulting firms, IT training institutions, business promotion agencies and universities as well as internet service providers established it@ab from 2000 to 2006 in the SADC region (Angola, Malawi, Mosambique, Namibia, Tanzania, South Africa, Zambia).  Overall, more than 80 IT business multipliers and trainers were trained through an advanced leadership programme in Germany.

  • More information on it@ab is online here.
  • Meet the participants of the leadership training 2004-2005 and their projects here.
  • Get all news  and infos on it@ab as available on this blog.
Why Africa needs a local 3D printing industry and an ‘appropriate tech maker movement’ – Interview with Roy Mwangi Ombatti  at re:publica 2015

Why Africa needs a local 3D printing industry and an ‘appropriate tech maker movement’ – Interview with Roy Mwangi Ombatti at re:publica 2015

Roy Mwangi Ombatti  started to tinker with 3D-printing in Nairobi, Kenya more than three years ago. He co-founded and led the Nairobi FabLab Robotics Outreach Program, he produces 3D printers from waste materials, became a Stanford Fablearn Fellow 2014 and he developed a successful low-cost solution to a pressing health problem (his project ‘Happy Feet’
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Let’s talk about “Learning by Sharing”

Let’s talk about “Learning by Sharing”

Today, I invite you to join the conversation on an article, which I just published on the issue of “Learning by sharing – how global communities cultivate skills and capacity through peer-production of knowledge“. I posit in this paper, that commons-based peer learning offers a trigger to enhance skills, competencies, connections, capacities, and the agency
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Knowledge sharing in the informal economy in Africa & the knowledge commons – who „owns“ knowledge? (part I)

Knowledge sharing in the informal economy in Africa & the knowledge commons – who „owns“ knowledge? (part I)

Here, I want to talk about one of the many interesting themes of the compendium „Innovation & Intellectual Property: Collaborative Dynamics in Africa“, which was just released (see also this blog post): Knowledge sharing in the informal economy in Africa and the knowledge commons. [Both links above link to content within the Alumniportal Germany (register
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Knowledge sharing & community-based innovation models in Africa: Which knowledge governance in the future? (part II)

Knowledge sharing & community-based innovation models in Africa: Which knowledge governance in the future? (part II)

In part II of this blog series, I will link the current reality of knowledge sharing in Africa with appropriate knowledge governance systems for the future. For the future, the Open African Innovation Research and Training network has worked on Three Scenarios for the Future of Knowledge & Innovation in Africa.The current reality is described
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Just out: Practical knowledge on “Open African Innovation” and stunning examples of the knowledge commons in Africa

Just out: Practical knowledge on “Open African Innovation” and stunning examples of the knowledge commons in Africa

Great start of the long-awaited conference of the Open African Innovation Research and Training Network: We just launched two really interesting compendia on “Open African Innovation” packed with practical examples of the knowledge commons in Africa – and with a tool that allows policy advisors to discuss the future of knowledge governance in Africa in
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Tanzanian IT experts in Germany on Linux-Learning-Tour / Afrikanische Computerexperten lernen Linux in Freiburg » Linux-Magazin

Interesting news coming from former training partner of it@ab, Mr. Hans-Peter Merkel. His organization “FreiOSS” is right now hosting Tanzanian IT experts in Germany on Linux-Learning-Tour. More in the news item (in German)… Link: http://www.linux-magazin.de/NEWS/Afrikanische-Computerexperten-lernen-Linux-in-Freiburg

Open African Innovation Research at GIZ’s innovation lounge at re:publica in Berlin

re:publica is à priori a German blogger conference. Over the years it has however morphed into an international gathering of more than 5000 people from more than 50 countries with a common interest in the following themes: Digital business and innovation, social media, research & education in the Internet, campaigning, culture, media and ultimately, the
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Interesting OpEd by ICT association: ‘Should Industry Support LDCs’ Request For Unlimited Time To Implement The TRIPS Agreement? Absolutely

Just found a good Opinion Editorial on ‘Intellectual Property Watch’ on the question, whether LDCs should have Unlimited Time To Implement The TRIPS Agreement: The ‘Computer and Communication Industry Association (CCIA)’ thinks so and has endorsed a bid by the world’s Least Developed Countries (LDC’s) to remove any specific deadline for full compliance with the
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ict@innovation featured in UNCTAD’s new Information Economy Report – Africa Launch with FOSSFA

ict@innovation featured in UNCTAD’s new Information Economy Report – Africa Launch with FOSSFA

Great news: Yesterday, UNCTAD launched its latest Information Economy Report. Free and Open Source Software is discussed extensively in this years’ edition, which has a focus on “The Software Industry and Developing Countries”. Also great news: the FOSSFA/GIZ capacity building programme ict@innovation is featured prominently, both in the report and at its Africa launch, which
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Interview on Ethiopian blogging: “Blogging puts Ethiopian life on the Internet – and opens rooms for debates”

[Please note: This blog post is a preview of the interview to be published soon on the Alumniportal Deutschland (APD) – subject to further editing]. Last week saw ‘re:publica 2012’ in Berlin, Germany’s largerst conference on blogging, social online networking and internet community. This years edition went global and put Africa on the map of
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Homegrown advancements drive Africa’s tech revolution: TV show on Africa’s (open) innovation drive

Just found an interesting TV show on “African Innovation” aired by Al Jazeera three days ago.  They make several points e.g: ” Across Africa, developers and programmers are coming up with new technologies from mobile banking to mapping software and medical tablets to cloud storage. Now the continent is increasingly relying on its own homegrown
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ITU promotes Linux Certification in Arab countries – links to Africa’s ict@innovation

Last week, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU)  announced a new LPI certification and training project throughout the 22 countries in the League of Arab States. This is certainly good news for ICT capacity building in general and even more interesting for the community of ict@innovation, which has been building training capacities around Linux Administration in Africa
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African meeting on digital commons ahead: Idlelo5, The 5th African Conference on FOSS and the Digital Commons | ict@innovation

Only one month to go before the “5th African Conference on FOSS and the Digital Commons” will start in Abuja, Nigeria. Idlelo is a conference organized by GIZ partner FOSSFA every two years to bring together the Open Source Community in Africa to share experiences and to network. Link: http://www.ict-innovation.fossfa.net/event/idlelo-5-5th-african-conference-open-source-and-digital-commons

UNCTAD Information Economy Report 2011 mentions ict@innovation

UNCTAD just released their Information Economy Report 2011 focusing on the link between ICTs and private sector development. It also mentions our programm ict@innovation with FOSSFA (see section on “developing human resources” page 59). Check the: Information Economy Report 2011 – ICTs as an Enabler for Private Sector Development More Info on the site here:

IT Sector Promotion in developing and emerging countries – Manual & Toolbox released

Just released: an IT sector promotion manual and toolbox with many examples and tools pertaining to OpenIT@giz – Open Innovation for Development such as capacity building, open innovation methods, training-of-trainer networks in IT, Open Source etc. Check it out! BTW: It is drawing on the ict@innovation programme and other programmes described here). And for archival
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ict@innovation programme moves to West Africa: Balthas Seibold opens training in Abuja, Nigeria

ict@innovation programme moves to West Africa: Balthas Seibold opens training in Abuja, Nigeria

“Free your IT Business in WEST Africa!” This was the motto of the first Training-of-Trainers of ict@innovation held in the West African region. Balthas Seibold and his colleagues Petra Hagemann & George Nyambuya officially welcomed more than 26 FOSS experts from Nigeria, Togo, Ghana, Cameroon and Senegal, who engaged in 10 intense days of peer-discussions
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Talk on open innovation & book launch of “Free your IT-business in Africa” at Africa’s FOSS gathering “Idlelo 4”

This biennium’s Idlelo (four) conference on Open Source and the Digital Commons in Africa organized by FOSSFA had the theme of “Development with ownership” and took place in Accra, Ghana from 17.04-21.04. Balthas Seibold was there to launch with FOSSFA a training book resulting of the joint regional capacity building programme “ict@innovation – creating business
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Johannesburg: Balthas Seibold opens first regional course on Business and Open Source in South Africa

How can Southern African IT-businesses make money with Free and Open Source Software? – this one of the questions discussed at the regional course on “Advanced African Business Models with Free and Open Source Software (FOSS)“. The two-week event started on July 13 at University of Witwatersrand, (Wits) in Johannesburg and is the first in
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Release of advanced e-learning courses on “Open Source & More IT for African Business”

InWEnt/it@ab releases a series of advanced e-learning courses on Information Technology (IT)- “Open Source & More IT for African Business” focussing on the needs of business related IT consultancy in Africa. The courses introduce relevant and adapted key concepts and applications such as E-Business Applications & Architecture / IT Security / Open Source IT (including
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Education for a free information society! Balthas Seibold on panel on “Free software & business models for IT companies”

How can sustainable business models in Free Software grow local IT companies in Africa and worldwide? This was one of the main topics of an international panel discussion at the international conference “Free Knowledge Free Technology – Education for a free information society ” held in Barcelona, Spain from July 15 to July 17 2008.
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New compilation of training material on Open Source Business Models for Development online

The it@inwent team recently added a new section to their website. This sites provides an overview of InWEnt’s main capacity building programmes and trainings in the area of “FOSS Business Models and Sustainable Development” as well as its respective training materials. Co-Editor Balthas Seibold explains that “business models based on FOSS offer great potential for
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Multi-year training programme on Open Source Software in Africa launched in Senegal

Dakar – Balthas Seibold of InWent announced a new regional program called “ict@innovation” at the Pan-African Idlelo 3 Conference in Dakar on 17.03.2008. ict@innovation will focus on fostering small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) in the field of Free and Open Source Software through regional networking and strengthening of consulting capacities of ICT associations and training
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IT@AB participates in IDLELO 2

The SADC knowledge network it@ab (Information technology in Africa Business), with support from InWEnt (Capacity Building International) of Germany sent twenty five delegates from six SADC countries to participate in IDLELO2, the second all Africa conference on Free and Open Source Software in Nairobi Kenya from the 23rd to the 25th of February 2006. InWEnt/it@ab
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Information Technology in African Business

The SADC-wide network “it@ab – Information Technology in African Business” recently held a two days International Conference in Lusaka, Zambia on “Smooth integration of Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) into existing software environments”. The SADC region was challenged to adopt FOSS as a viable route towards affordable ICTs and business development at the local
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