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Open source project empowers growth


Limpopo Connexion, a subsidiary company of Limpopo Economic Development Agency (Leda), hosted a Free and Open Source Software (Foss) Day at Bolivia Lodge on Friday. The purpose of the event was to empower youth, provide SMMEs with knowledge to use Foss to build sustainable businesses, to establish a Foss community support group and to lower information and communication technology costs.
FOSS provides offline content to schools without internet connectivity and is a collaboration between Limpopo Department of Economic Development, Environment and Tourism (Ledet), Limpopo Department of Education and Suse, a leading Germany based open source software company. It is funded by Belgian Government through Department of Public Service and Administration’s Tirelo Bosha Public Service Improvement Facility.

Ledet MEC Seaparo Sekoati, Leda Chief Executive Officer Ben Mphahlele and Limpopo Connexion acting Chief Executive Officer, Baldwin Ramasobane were among the dignitaries present. Delivering the key note address, Sekoati said the project contributes to improved learning outcomes, increased exposure to technology in schools, promoting and enhancing teaching, learning and school classroom management and promoting inclusive information society initiatives.
“It provides access to additional teaching and learning material and content like previous exam papers and study guides and most importantly research for assignments,” Sekoati said.
Limpopo Connexion acting Chief Executive Officer, Baldwin Ramasobane, said that Limpopo Connexion is pleased to be working with Department of Public Service and Administration (DPSA), Department of Science and Technology (DST) and Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services (DTPS) and provincial entities in the implementation of Foss in Limpopo.
“Considerable work has been done and continues to be done in creating awareness around the cost effectiveness and developmental merits of Foss, especially in largely rural and undeveloped areas, insofar as limited access to and technical know-how of technology and computing,” Ramasobane said, adding that Limpopo Connexion is confident that large scale utilisation of Foss is a step in the right direction in tackling the digital divide and empowering individuals and institutions.

Story & photos: BARRY VILJOEN

Limpopo Economic Development Agency (Leda) Chief Executive Officer Ben Mphahlele, Ledet MEC Seaparo Sekoati, MEC and Limpopo Connexion acting Chief Executive Officer, Baldwin Ramasobane at the Foss Day.

Indirect Account Executive of SUSE, the Germany based open source software company that sponsors the operating system that drives the offline content project, Derek Rule.

Programme Manager for Tirelo Bosha at the Department of Public Service and Administration, Moti Motshwane and Resident Representative of project sponsor Belgium Corporation Laurence Janssens visit the stalls at the Foss Day.

Leda Chief Executive Officer Ben Mphahlele and Chief Director of Auxiliary Services at the Department of Education, Cebile Khanye at the media briefing session at the FOSS Day.

Deputy Chairperson of Limpopo Connexion Alf Kale is the Programme Director at the Foss Day.

Delegates to the Foss Day listen to the presentations.