Tuesday, 03 July 2012 13:26
A workshop to make Afghanistan's public administrations aware of the potential of open source will take place in the country's capital, Kabul, in September. The workshop is funded and supported by NATO's Science for Peace and Security Programme.
Public organisations in Afghanistan are starting to develop their IT infrastructures from scratch, explains the organiser of the workshop, Wolfgang Finke, Professor for Business Management and Business Information Systems at the Jena University of Applied Sciences in Germany. "Yet most public sector managers and IT directors in Afghanistan are unaware of the opportunities that an open source strategy holds."
He also says the use of costly proprietary IT solutions is not sustainable in Afghanistan. These often lack proper licences, with detrimental effects on the security of these systems. "Especially end-user systems will be prone to viruses, hampering the professional implementation and use of information systems. At the same time, there is an urgent need for such information systems in many of the larger public organisations in Afghanistan."
The workshop in Kabul has three objectives. Its primary aim is to make general managers and top-level IT managers in Afghan public institures aware of open source. Second, the workshop will show practical examples using the experiences from other public administrations. The third goal is to find ways to use open source and to find potential road blocks.
Finke says Afghanistan lacks a competence centre for open source. Such a centre could provide professional training and technical support to the public sector.
Finke: "NATO indicated that they will think about sponsoring some of the infrastructure. Unfortunately, more support will be needed and we're still looking for others to help us with this."
NATO has helped universities in Afghanistan set up Internet connections, and is helping build their campus networks. It also has supported the activities of the nascent open source movement in the country.
Source: Joinup.eu „Workshop promotes open source use by Afghanistan's public institutions“ June 26, 2012