Thursday, October 20, 2005

Africa Doesn't Need Free Software?

Although the average Nigerian makes ~$160 per annum, Microsoft is claiming that the low/no cost of free software is not something Africans need.

Gerald Ilukwe, general manager of Microsoft Nigeria, claims "expertise" is brought to Africans through proprietary alternatives and implies such "expertise" in the F/OSS world to be lacking.

When comparing free software with Microsoft products, Ilukwe makes the most egregious of remarks saying, "Microsoft is not a helicopter dropping relief materials; we're there in the field."

Mr. Ilukwe, do you mean kind of like the way the oil corporations are in the fields of Iraq?

He says this while there are many African institutions offering training in the deployment and use of GNU/Linux systems. Such as SchoolNet Namibia, The Shuttleworth Foundation, and the East African Centre for Open Source Software.


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