The Software Freedom Day, an annual worldwide celebration aimed at increasing awareness of Free Software (FS) and its benefits, was observed on Saturday in Accra with the call on the public to patronize the software.
FS is software that can be used, studied, and modified without restriction, and can be copied and redistributed in modified or unmodified form either without restriction, or with restrictions that only ensure that further recipients have the same rights under which it was obtained and that manufacturers of consumer products incorporating free software provide the software as source code.
Speaking to the Ghana News Agency in Accra on the sidelines at the event, Mr Stephen Donkor, a member of the Linux User Group in Accra (LUGA), a private initiative, said the event offered participants, mainly Information Communication Technology experts, programmers, web designers, communicators and some members of the security agencies, to network and to promote the use of Open-Standards, and Open-Source solutions where applicable.
He said the Group was dedicated to educating software professionals of the choices that are available in the Open-Source community adding that “we encourage the use and participation in Open-Source projects. We are not anti-commercial software. However, we are against the blind illusion that commercial software is always a better choice.”
Mr Donkor said the group was in the process of implementing an Open Global System for mobile communication network in rural communities that had no access to network signal.
He said those communities could not be reached by the communication giants due to the high cost of deploying their infrastructure and equipments to those areas.
Mr Donkor said LUGA’s technology would only transform hardware infrastructure in a software form using basic equipments such as an antennae connected to a Universal Software Radio Peripheral, a laptop computer and a open source operating system.
He expressed optimism that the technology would provide network services at an affordable cost to consumers.
Mr Donkor said the technology would provide services that would help save lives, create jobs and help keep the residents in those communities informed.
Software Freedom Day is said to have been established in 2004 and was first observed on 28 August of that year. GNA