FOSSFA in “#OSJUBA - The world’s first Open Source City ?”
#OSJUBA (Open Source City Juba) is a project initiated by r0g / agency for open culture and critical transformation that seeks to apply the means and tools of creative Open Source methodologies to the future of development and capacity building, particularly in post-conflict society. #OSJUBA proposes to apply the means and methodologies of the international Open Source / FLOSS, free culture, accessible technologies and hacktivist communities in creating a vision for the new capital of South Sudan.
In collaboration with its partners mict, SUPERMARKT Berlin and KOW r0g-media had its first #OSJuba event on June 21 and June 22, 2012 in Berlin as an introductory look at the challenges faced by South Sudan, and discuss how the mechanisms of the global Open Source and free culture movements can be used as an effective engines for a new form of global development practice.
FOSSFA had its initial presence in #OSJuba when Stephen Kovats(r0g) – the #OSJuba coordinator came to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to organize a #OSJuba workshop at the iceaddis Innovation Hub and met with Asteway Negash – Ethiopian FOSSFA liaison. In this remarkable #OSJuba evening several developers, entrepreneurs and stakeholders of the iceaddis came together to assess current scenarios and contexts in South Sudan, as well as its capital Juba, and discuss the notion of Open Source Culture. FOSSFA had a part in this event to introduce its programmes and interactions with in the past decade. This event also marked the beginning of collaboration between r0g and FOSSFA to realize the #OSJuba program which led to two FOSSFA personnel Dorothy Gordon and Asteway Negash being invited to the coming and much expected Open Knowledge and Sustainable Media Forum in Juba December 11 - 13, 2012 .
The #OSJUBA thematic at MEDIA & MAKERS: Open Knowledge and Sustainable Media Forum in Juba December 11 - 13, 2012 is aimed at bringing players involved in shaping South Sudan's future into a dialogue in collaboration with its neighbours and leading international open source / open knowledge experts. How the application and development of an 'open source culture' can play a key role in supporting stable, sustainable development and the process of democratization, to tackling the issues of post-conflict transformation, education and healthcare, resource management, policy transparency or economic development are key issues. How open source can be formulated and implemented as a central and shared policy goal in securing South Sudan's future success on the world stage is the aim. Perhaps by creating the world's first Open Source State - a new model for Africa and the world? As an initial meeting of policy makers, journalists, researchers, open source developers, and civil society stakeholders this event acts as a follow-up to the #OSJUBA Berlin conference in June 2012 which explored the application of open source methodologies in post-conflict development. The event will be led by MICT and r0g_agency, in collaboration with UNESCO, UNICEF South Sudan and partners in South Sudan including AMDISS.
The conference will embrace three focus group workshops - Open Sourcing South Sudan, Open Data for Open Knowledge, and Open Innovation and ICT: Tool of the Trade. FOSSFA will be largely taking part in the Open Sourcing South Sudan workshop where our own Dorothy Gordon (Accra) will be one of the two lead expert who will do the main presentations. The Open Sourcing South Sudan workshop is intended to introduce the concepts behind the global open source movements and the broader realm of 'open systems' as generators of knowledge, capacity building and citizen empowerment for the democratic development of society. The roles that leading organizations such as the Free and Open Software Foundation for Africa (FOSSFA) and the Open Government Partnership (OGP) play in helping to create stable, open and civil society structures are models to be considered in the process as South Sudan builds a new and independent voice among nations. The focus group will examine how these structures and concepts relate to the future of South Sudan as an active contributor to regional development alongside its international neighbors and partners using innovative, often African-based open source and ICT solutions.