ict@innovation Training Handbook release: "Free your IT-Business in Africa!"

Applicable also in other countries/region:

"How can I build a sustainable business around Free and Open Source Software in Africa?"

In order to answer this frequently asked question by young African IT-business owners, InWEnt and FOSSFA are pleased to present "ict@innovation: Free your IT-Business in Africa!” - a set of advanced training materials on African Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) Business Models for IT-enterprises.

The open training material "ict@innovation: Free your IT-Business in Africa!" is part of the initiative ict@innovation, a partnership of FOSSFA (Free Software and Open Source Foundation for Africa) and InWEnt - Capacity Building International of Germany, funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). The handbook includes numerous successful business models suited to the African context, such as Software Selection, Software Installation, FOSS Training, Maintenance and Support, Software / Systems Migration, Consultancy, Software Localization and Internalization, FOSS Customization as well as Technical / Legal Certification. Eight in-depth case studies of successful African IT-businesses give concrete avenues for Free and Open Source business models that work in Africa. Other key sections focus on Knowledge and Skills for FOSS Entrepreneurs such as communication and business skills and on FOSS Training as a Business in Africa.

Bringing together Open Source and Business expertise across Africa

Nnenna Nwakanma, FOSSFA Council Chair, acknowledged this book as a great joint achievement and its meaning for ICT business in Africa. The training handbook has been collaboratively developed by more than 50 FOSS experts from Africa and beyond, who have contributed their expertise and helped put together this wealth of knowledge including detailed examples, model presentations, assessment tests, exercises and assignments. For their contribution/involvement “we would like to thank the team of experts, editors, authors and trainers, and particularly thank our training partners, the United Nations University Maastricht Economic and social Research and training centre on Innovation and Technology (UNU-MERIT), the Ghana-India Kofi Annan Centre of Excellence in ICT (AITI-KACE)” says George Nyambuya, ict@innovation Africa Coordinator for FOSSFA and InWEnt- Capacity Building International, Germany.

A starting point for new businesses: "ict@innovation: Free your IT-Business in Africa!"

“Free your IT-Business in Africa!” is a comprehensive starting point for anyone planning to start an IT business around Open Source technologies. It is particularly suitable for Training-of-Trainers and for advanced courses within ICT-associations, training institutions as well as universities.

The book consists of different training modules divided into three thematic parts:

The first part - African FOSS Business Models - introduces basic FOSS concepts and provides practical case studies across the African continent.

The second part - Knowledge and Skills for FOSS Entrepreneurs – focuses on FOSS communication and business skills which are vital for businesses and contribute immensely in helping young entrepreneurs leverage FOSS to gain a competitive advantage. Innovative and cost effective tools and techniques, community building and networking, and FOSS strategies which are vital for starting and sustaining a viable FOSS business in Africa are also covered in this part of the syllabus.

The third part FOSS Training as a Business – aims to foster understanding of some of the requirements for becoming a FOSS trainer, and identifies the opportunities that exist for FOSS training as a business in Africa and further introduces a global look at Linux training worldwide.

The book is available for free download at the following link of the ict@innovation website: http://www.ict-innovation.fossfa.net/node/4252 . In the spirit of sharing and mutual capacity-building, the training material is released under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike licence. Therefore, distribution, remixing and updating of the materials by their users is encouraged. For further information please visit http://www.ict-innovation.fossfa.net/wiki/public-wiki/ictinnovation-training-materials or make use of the contact pool of African http://ict-innovation.org/wiki/public-wiki/course-advanced-african-foss-business-models/FBMTrainers .

For further information please contact

George Nyumbuya, FOSSFA/InWEnt ICT@Innovation
Tel: +27 (0)12 423 6313
Fax: +27 (0)12 342 8594
E-mail: george.nyambuya@inwent.co.za