The Software Freedom Day event came off successfully on Saturday, 15th of September, 2018. The event was held at the Ghana-India Kofi Annan Centre of Excellence in ICT-Advanced Information Technology Institute, located at 2nd Avenue Ridge.
Software Freedom Day is a day set aside in September of every year globally for the celebration of Free and Open Source Software (FOSS). The goal is to educate people on high quality FOSS (Free and Open Source Software) in education, in government, at home, and in business
The event saw in attendance people with backgrounds in IT, Economics/banking etc. The programme was categorized into five sessions. There was a 10-15 mins documentary entitled “Even big data starts small”. The documentary highlighted how Nepal started using OpenStreetMap to solve flooding issues. Mr. Sabra Asante of Linux Accra User Group gave the welcome address and opening remarks, after which Madam Radhika L al, UNDP Economic Adviser to Ghana and The Gambia gave the keynote statement.
Five participants in the next session presented on how they used free and open source software in their various works. The first presentation was on “Harnessing IOT for Ghana’s Development based SDGs” by Bertrand O. Adams of E-Consult. Tracy Aboagye-Asare, presented on “Drupal” which is a free and open source content-management framework, while Lorenzo and his son, members of Linux Accra User Group, gave a presentation on a game they developed which is also a free and open software. Duke Ofori of “Delaphone”, also presented on Open PBX/Call Centre management application. “Visuals for Gender” was represented by Princess Erwina Ndom who made a presentation on the work we have done so far and the tools we use in analyzing and visualizing data (which include some free and open source software). She explained how the project was executed using open data in advocating for the sexual and reproductive health and rights of victims of gender-based violence. The last to present was Abigail Darko who gave an introduction on OpenStreetMap, a project, a group of volunteers are currently working on.
A panel discussion was held after the presentation on the theme: “The importance of Data and open source in Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals”. The moderator was Mr. Sabra Asante of Linux User Group, Accra. The members of the panel were Nii Okai of Development Concept, Michael Kissi Boateng (policy analyst of NDPC), Kwabena Ansah of WorkSmart, Enoch Seth Nyamador (an open data enthusiast) and Cecil Nutakor of e-Campu. It was an educative and interactive session, where participants were also given the opportunity to ask questions and make contributions.
The next session was also characterized by presentations. First to present was Cecil Nutakor of e Campus, followed by Eyram Tawiah of Leti Arts, Joshua Opoku Agyeman of IOT Hub, Eric Agbesi of Barak Capital, Yvonne Darko of Linux Accra User Group, Felix Nartey of Open Foundation West Africa, Enoch Seth Nyamador of Open Cities Accra and Rexford Nyarko of Innoverex and a member of Linux Group Accra. They also talked about how they used free and open source software in their work.
The last session was another panel discussion also moderated by Mr. Sabra Asante. The theme was on “Open Source, Security and the SDGs”. Panelists were Desmond Israel of Information Security Architects Limited, Adams Kwesi Nurudini of Netwatch Systems and Boyan Lazarevsky of Cyber Security.
The event was a successful one where everyone present, received information on the use and application of free and open source software. Mr. Sabra Asante gave the closing remark.
There was a product demonstration and exhibition after the close of the programme. Participants went to various stands to have a hands-on and demo experience of what people have developed. It was an educative session which got participants exposed to the unique skills and developments produced.