Mr Sabra Asante, a member of the Linux Accra User Group, Ghana, (LAUG), has said adequate support should be given to software developers for Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to thrive and improve the nation’s fortunes.
He said having missed the gains of the agricultural and industrial revolutions as a country there was the need for Ghana to make a positive impact in the current ICT revolution.
To achieve this goal, Mr Asante said it was the duty of all Ghanaians, and not only the government or primary stakeholders, to support in the industry’s development.
Mr Asante said this, on Saturday, in Accra when Ghana joined about 120 countries worldwide to observe Software Freedom Day (SFD) on the theme: “The Open Source Advantage”.
“Having an ICT industry is not about nationals but rather about the adequate support that developers have to make it work, but unfortunately, there is no appropriate support whatsoever in this country,” he said.
He said the SFD, which was organized by LAUG in partnership with the Kofi Annan Centre of Excellence in ICT, was an annual grassroots effort, aimed at educating the public on the benefits of Free and Open Source Software as well as encouraging its usage.
“It is also an event that intends to showcase the advantages of Open Source Technologies, as well as the opportunities and value addition it brings to organisations and Ghana’s emerging economy,” he added.
Mr Asante, however, noted that there were two major worlds in Software: namely the Proprietary and the Free Open Source Software (FOSS).
He explained that the proprietary Software were owned by individuals with strict operational policies and that included the Windows, Word, Oracle and Cisco.
“The FOSS is about freedom where people are allowed to copy, modify and pass it on to others for use positively and this is what we are advocating,” he said.
He, therefore, called for the usage of the FOSS in the country to help position ICT on a high pedestal not only locally, but globally.
“Ghana and all IT inclined groups need to switch on to the FOSS for our developmental agendas in order to make it worthwhile in the area of ICT,” he stressed.
Mr Raindolf Owusu, a software developer, called for teamwork and collaborative efforts amongst all people who make up the ICT fraternity to help make the sector a success.
He said there should be professionalism as well as strong leadership roles to boost the ICT industries for better developmental goals to be achieved.
Mr Owusu also lauded organisers for the educative session that sought to advocate FOSS.
The event took participants through the Apps showcase, Software clinic for Small and Medium Enterprises, installation of Linux distributions and exhibitions of open source software projects.
Others areas discussed are public awareness on the impact of open source technology on Ghana’s growth, harnessing open source, especially for social media, mobile solutions, and e-learning to achieve organisational objectives, as well as open source for national development. GNA