FOSSWAY meets the Dakar FOSS community
Friday 29 May, FOSSWAY project coordinator met in Dakar members of DakarLug, the local Linux User Group, and GAW, an association that promotes the use of FOSS in digital creation and arts in Senegal.
The meeting was an opportunity to present FOSSWAY, FOSSFA's advocacy project in West Africa, to the Senegalese community of FOSS programmers, users, enthusiasts and advocates. FOSSWAY presentation raised a lot of interest and led to a profitable and pro-active exchange of ideas about project activities; the participants to the discussion provided important inputs for further actions to take in Senegal to promote FOSS culture and values.
During the discussion, the status of FOSS adoption in Senegal and related issues were discussed. Poor infrastructure, limited and expensive bandwidth, lack of local hosting and web space providers are some of the impediments that local open source programmers and students have to face. DakarLug organizes several activities and events to promote FOSS adoption, and provides information and assistance through an on-line forum. There is a high interest in FOSS, especially at university level, and the association is looking for facilities and funds to provide FOSS demonstrations and host training sessions to a higher number of people in Dakar. DakarLug members have showed a strong interest in FOSSWAY activities and are ready to join the project.
GAW is a not-for-profit association based in Dakar that promotes the creation of cultural technological products and the use of FOSS and free tools in digital art production. It acts as a platform for discussion that puts together artists, researchers, technicians, programmers and the general audience. In Senegal there is a growing interest around digital arts and media culture, and local artists are starting to experiment new ways of expression. Times are ready and the contribution of African artists is strategic to the localization and adaptation of FOSS.
DakaLug's and GAW's genuine interest in FOSSWAY is promising and their future contribution to the project activities in Senegal can help increase the awareness of FOSS benefits and reach a lager audience of potential FOSS users in Senegal.
FOSSWAY is an on-going project of FOSSFA in partnership with the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA) For more information on how to engage, partner and participate in FOSSWAY, contact the Project Coordinator on fossway at fossfa dot net