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 The source of digital news! Get informed on how developing countries are using ICT to advance their future.

The following articles are selected from 3rd party sources and are presented for informational purposes about the direction of ICT in developing countries.

We privilege news about the adoption of open source software in the public administration of developing countries.

"Participant" users are encouraged to post pertinent news that they may found.

Copyrights for this section belong to the originating parties and to this extent we provide links to the source document.

Syindacate our news (RSS Version 1.0) [link to www.digitalright.org/news/news.rss]

The RegisterOct 21 2005
Open source taking over Europe
Nearly half of European local government bodies are using open source software while nearly a third don't know that they are using open source at all.
A Maastricht University survey of 12 counties has reportedly found 49 per cent using Free/Libre/Open Source Software (FLOSS) while 70 per cent said they expect usage to increase.

In a comment on the viral nature of FLOSS, it turned out that 29 per cent of authorities who said they did not use FLOSS actually do use open source software such as operating systems, databases and web servers.

The RegisterSep 29 2005
Peru's parliament approves pro-open source bill
Legislators in Peru have approved a hotly contested bill sanctioning use of open source software by government and levelling the playing field for start-ups against Microsoft.
The Peruvian Congress has passed a bill that prohibits any public institution from buying systems that tie users into any particular type of software or that limits "information autonomy". Public institutions are also barred from having a pre-determined preference for either proprietary software or open-source software.

BBC NewsJun 03 2005
Brazil adopts open-source software
In Brazil's Ministry for Cities, staff are busily at work.
The scene is much like any other modern office: an open-plan work space crammed with desks, telephones and computers.

But there's one big difference. The word 'Microsoft' is nowhere in sight.

Instead, computers here now use the Linux operating system.

Highway Africa NewsFeb 22 2005
Digital Solidarity Fund - Full Steam Ahead!
Representatives from the whole world today supported the development of a Digital Solidary Fund - an African initiative aimed at alleviating digital divides in all societies.

Governmental, civil society and private sector spokespersons met in a crowded plenary hall at the United Nations HQ in Geneva, where ambassador Olivier Second of Switzerland summarised the main points of the fund. The meeting was part of PrepCom-2 - a conference taking place all this week in preparation for the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) which will be held in Tunis in November this year.

The GuardianFeb 17 2005
Bridging the digital divide with a self-powered laptop
A $100 laptop aims to bring equal technology opportunities to children in the developing world.
The British charity Citizens Online has an ambitious goal - they would like all schoolchildren in the UK to have their own laptop by 2010. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) boffins Nicholas Negroponte, Seymour Papert and Joseph Jacobson also share the mantra "one laptop per child", but they have a much more ambitious plan: to provide 100m to 200m laptops to schoolchildren in the developing world by the end of 2006.

The RegisterJan 07 2005
The government open source dynamic
The news just broke that the Venezuelan government is planning to migrate to Open Source, having issued a decree to central government organizations to draft plans for migration.
The decree involves three phases of migration beginning with central government, then regional government and finally municipal government. Central ministries covered in the first phase are being asked to complete the migration within two years (unless they can demonstrate that the time frame cannot be met).

Venezuelanalysis.comDec 30 2004
Venezuela’s Public Administration to Use Open Source Software
The hope is to be able to save millions of dollars in license fees that software such as Microsoft Windows and Office generally require governments to pay.
President Chavez issued a decree this week which says that Venezuela’s public administration will switch over to use so-called Open Source software, such as the Linux operating system, over the course of the next two years. Chavez had announced his intention to issue such a decree a few months ago.

LinuxInsiderDec 26 2004
Africa Proving To Be Next Frontier for Free and Open Software
Most software for personal computers in the developed world presupposes a single user per computer, whether it's located at home or at the office. This is a rare situation in Africa, and the networking and security aspects of Linux help to set up such group environments, as does the ability to customized source code to Africa's culture and needs.
Desperately seeking their future, African countries that virtually no Western commercial software vendors have cared about in the past are turning to free and open software. They are doing so at a pace just quick enough to alarm some commercial software vendors, who fear the prospect of an entire continent dominated by free software in the future.

LinuxInsiderDec 20 2004
Open Source for Municipalities
The development of an open-source tool for a large company such as Microsiga is an important step and the project will help in the process of computerizing small municipalities, according to Sergio Amadeu, president of the national IT institute (ITI).
Brazilian IT firm Microsiga has launched an open-source solution for the management of municipalities to be offered across the nation, local daily Gazeta Mercantil reported.

Migrosiga is charging each municipality approximately 2,400 reais (US$875) a year for access to the software, according to Microsiga president Laercio Consentino.

LinuxInsiderDec 10 2004
More Than 40 Percent of Argentine Companies Use Open Source
Argentine companies are showing more interest in adopting open-source software, with 42 percent already using it and 4 percent testing it, local newspaper El Cronista reported, citing a study by local consultancy Trends Consulting
Trends ran the study in the first half of the year among 115 companies. Of the firms that use Linux Relevant Products/Services from Sybase ASE Linux Express Edition – FREE, 4.5 percent plan to migrate all their systems to Linux in the short-term, 16 percent plan to adopt it only for new applications and 79.

Venezuelanalysis.comDec 08 2004
Venezuela Embraces Linux and Open Source Software, but Faces Challenges
Venezuela’s government is quickly moving towards the adoption of Open Source software, in a bid to save money and move towards technological independence.
"This follows the principle of national scientific independence, so that we do not depend on privately owned software. If knowledge does not have owners, then intellectual property is a trap set by neo-liberalism,” Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said last September when he announced to be working on a decree to adopt Open Source software in the public administration.

IPS NewsOct 25 2004
Brazil Leads the Way in the Free Software Movement
RIO DE JANEIRO, Oct 25 (IPS) - Despite the challenges involved, Brazil is forging ahead with its decision to adopt free or open-source software throughout the country's massive public sector.
The shift from proprietary operating systems to open-source systems in government agencies will encompass close to 300,000 computers. Some believe this could lead the way to the predominance of open-source software in this country of close to 180 million people and to a major expansion in the national software industry, with considerable international repercussions.

USA TodayOct 19 2004
Poor nations on front line of operating-system wars
..."In emerging countries people are using Linux to accelerate development" ...
SAO PAULO, BRAZIL — Until two weeks ago, Vanusa Pereira had never used a computer. The uneducated, unmarried, and unemployed mother of two did not know a PC from a CD-ROM or a blaster worm from a Trojan horse.
Today, thanks to a government-sponsored course that has taught information-technology skills to more than 100,000 of São Paulo's poorest citizens, she knows how to write e-mail, surf the Internet, and create basic documents.

Infoworld.comSep 09 2004
IBM opens Linux center in Brazil
IBM Corp. will spend more than $1 million to help fund a Linux technology center in Brazil. The center, created in conjunction with the Brazilian government, aims to train 700 public service professionals on the use of Linux by year's end.
The Centro de Difusão de Tecnologia e Conhcimento (CDTC) opened its doors last week in Brazil's capital, Brasilia, and will employ a staff of 14, including five IBM employees. The center will include a development laboratory, a support call center, and a classroom, all located at the University of Brasilia.

brazzil.comAug 20 2004
Linux Friendly Brazil
Twenty percent of all computers used by the Brazilian ministries are running Linux and other open source software. In a few months this number should grow to 100 percent. Through its Digital Inclusion Program Brazil wishes to democratize the use of computers.
Government telecenters are being created throughout Brazil.
The Brazilian government wants to expand the use of free source software in public service because it has lower costs and can be an important tool in the effort to achieve digital inclusion (close the digital gap) and boost technological development.

brazzil.comAug 04 2004
Brazil's Answer to Digital Inclusion
The Brazilian government plans to install 6,000 computer centers around the country by the end of 2007. If this target is met, 18 million low-income Brazilians will have access to the Internet.
To save money Brazil will forgo Microsoft Windows and other
paid software and adopt instead free software like Linux.
By the end of next year, three million Brazilians who live in places rated low on the Human Development Index (HDI) will have access to computers, internet, and basic training courses in the informatics field.

The goal of the Brazilian Program of Digital Inclusion is to install a thousand telecenters throughout the country in 2005, each one capable of serving 2.

The StarJul 16 2004
Malaysia mandates open source
All Government technology procurement will now have a preference for open source software (OSS), under the Malaysian Public Sector Open Source Software Masterplan made available to the public this morning.
In what was its strongest show of support for OSS, the Government's masterplan calls for policies to be put in place in several areas, including procurement, that would favour such software.

The masterplan has been a topic of debate among ICT companies, local and foreign, that supply goods and services to the Government.

DigitalMediaEuropeJun 21 2004
UN launches new intiative to bridge digital divide
The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), which aims at the development-friendly integration of developing countries into the world economy, is launching a new partnership on Information and Communication Technologies for Development.
The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), which aims at the development-friendly integration of developing countries into the world economy, is launching a new partnership on Information and Communication Technologies for Development to build concrete strategies to improve access to and use of ICT applications to enhance the economic competitiveness of developing countries.

PSL-BRJun 20 2004
Microsoft Against Brazil
Petition to all those who *truly* believe in serious projects of social inclusion, to governments, especially in Brazil, that should not tolerate a North American company that is trying to deter righteous projects of social and technological uplifting of a developing nation.
Disagreeing with the policies of the Brazilian government in defense of free software — which is bringing to an end the *market reserve* of Microsoft for the purchase of software and government computers — the company is launching an offensive to try to intimidate the Brazilian government.

YahooJun 17 2004
U.N. Forum Delegates Focus on Technology
SAO PAULO, Brazil - As a weeklong U.N. trade and development forum wound down, delegates said Thursday that the technology gap between poor and rich countries remains a major impediment to easing world poverty.
"Even the academic literature on information technology suggests that it is only applicable to industrially developed countries," said President-elect Leonel Fernandez of the Dominican Republic. "We have to change that."

While countries like Brazil have made huge strides in providing free Internet access to the poor, many other nations don't have money to do so or have such shoddy telecommunications systems that technology advances seem like an unattainable dream.

CNETJun 11 2004
Chinese railway to ride on Turbolinux
China's National Ministry of Railways will use Turbolinux's software for centralized package delivery operations, the Japan-based Linux specialist said Friday.
China's National Ministry of Railways will use Turbolinux's software for centralized package delivery operations, the Japan-based Linux specialist said Friday. Three hundred copies of the company's server software will be used on 160 servers

The Turbolinux product, TurboHA, is "high-availability" software designed to ensure computer operations stay available by moving processes to functioning computers if one crashes.

brazzil.comApr 01 2004
How Do You Say, 'Bye, Microsoft', in Brazil?
It's 'ciao, Microsoft' week for Brazilian public servants. Over 2,200 civil servants are in Brasília, Brazil's capital, for training in free software The program's intention is turn the participants into propagators of open source. The use of open source represents annual savings of US$ 1.1 billion for the Brazilian government.
Free software is already a reality in Brazil's government institutions. Civil servants in federal, state, and municipal spheres are installing and managing administrative structures with platforms and applications based on open sources.

IDAMar 16 2004
Switzerland approves new open source software stra
The IT Council of the Swiss Confederation adopted at the end of February 2004 version 1.0 of the Federal Administration’s open source software (OSS) strategy, which, among other things, considers Linux as a future potential standard operating system for the desktop.
Pointing out that the Swiss Federal Administration must base its software choices on grounds of interoperability and cost-effectiveness, and that open source software “stimulates competition in the software sector”, the strategic paper defines three priorities for the Federal OSS strategy.

Brazzil - TechnologyMar 01 2004
Brazil, a Stone in Microsoft's Shoes
Brazilian authorities have in several occasions praised the
open-source operating system known as Linux. Linux is the best-known alternative to Microsoft's Windows and Brazil is its poster child. Brazilian top technology officials talk about creating, in South America, a "continent of open source".
Data from Brazil's Education Ministry and IBGE (Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística—Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics) reveal that 10 years after the Internet became popular in the First World, 92 percent of all 180,000 public schools in Brazil have no access to the Internet.

bnamericas.comMar 01 2004
Govt. to install open-source in public schools
Brazilian government has decided to use open source software operating systems in the country's public schools.

YahooMar 01 2004
Rome Opts for Open Source
Rome City Council has opted to use open source software for some applications of a new council portal.
Rome City Council has opted to use open source software for some applications of a new council portal due to go into operation in May, a council spokesperson says.

Linux software will initially be used for file-sharing and e-mail correspondence in the new portal, says Andrea Ambrogetti, a spokesperson for communications councillor Mariella Gramaglio.

CNETFeb 12 2004
Paris eyes open-source switch
After London and Munich, Paris studies how to increase open source usage.
Systems integrator Unilog is set to carry out a feasibility study on the installation of open-source software systems for the city of Paris, the company has said. On the strength of an earlier Unilog study, Munich agreed to migrate thousands of desktops from Windows to the open-source operating system Linux.

APCNewsJan 29 2004
APC project in rural Peru
Farmers and local government in rural Peru use free APC software
LIMA, Peru -- In late 2003, CEPES, one of APC's newest members, trained participants in a rural-urban information service to set up a portal and exchange agricultural information from six telecentres in remote rural locations in the northern Peruvian sierras.

TectonicJan 14 2004
Software costs more than a year's salary for many
Buying proprietary software for many African users can cost them the equivalent of a year or more's income.
Buying proprietary software for many African users can cost them the equivalent of a year or more's income. This is according to Rishab Ghosh, programme leader at Infonomics at Maastricht University, who was speaking at the Idlelo Digital Commons conference in Cape Town, South Africa today.

CNETDec 28 2003
Developing countries embrace IT
Estonia has laid a telecommunications infrastructure that puts it in the top 20 of connected regions. Tanzanian farmers are beginning to trade their goods online. And in Costa Rica, 37 percent of the country's exports are computer products, outpacing both bananas and coffee.
The Digital Opportunity Initiative--a joint venture comprising the United Nations, the Markle Foundation and consulting firm Accenture--is pointing to such tech successes in an attempt to encourage more widespread adoption of what it calls Information and Communications Technology, or ICT, in developing countries.

Inter-American BankNov 19 2003
MILAN, Italy – Italy’s Minister for Innovation and Technologies, Lucio Stanca, and Inter-American Development Bank President Enrique V. Iglesias today signed an agreement for the establishment of a 3-million euro Italian Trust Fund for Information and Communication Technology for Development.

ITUNov 19 2003
ITU Digital Access Index: World’s First Global ICT
Education and Affordability Key to Boosting New Technology Adoption
The first global index to rank Information and Communication Technology (ICT) access has turned up some surprises. Slovenia ties France; and the Republic of Korea, usually not among the top ten in international ICT rankings, comes in fourth.

O'ReillyNov 17 2003
The Public Sector Open Source Project, convened and sponsored by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, will facilitate and loosely organize the sharing of software owned and developed by or for the public sector.

CNET AsiaNov 17 2003
Open-source fight staged on 'wrong battleground'
A senior Gartner executive says the battle between open-source and proprietary software should be fought in the application arena.
Proponents of open-source and proprietary software are exchanging blows "on the wrong battleground" said Gartner Research vice president Andrea Di Maio today.

Di Maio argued that while open-source disciples have arranged themselves on a front encircling Microsoft and its widely used operating systems, they should instead be pitching their battle in the application arena.

CNETAsiaNov 17 2003
North Asia open-source group firms up plans
The three North Asian countries in an alliance to develop an open source alternative to Windows moved a step closer to concrete action on Friday at a meeting in Osaka, Japan.
The three North Asian countries in an alliance to develop an open source alternative to Windows moved a step closer to concrete action on Friday at a meeting in Osaka, Japan.

According to a report in the Asian Wall Street Journal, officials from the Japan IT Services Industry Association, the China Software Industry Association and the Federation of Korean Information Industries announced the creation of bodies in each country that will manage the three-partner collaboration.

Fortune.comNov 16 2003
U.N. summit to look at tech big-picture
The World Summit on the Information Society, which takes place in Geneva December 10-12 and will be the first time the U.N. has attempted a big-picture look at the global importance of information technology.
Desai is Kofi Annan's special advisor for the Summit. He previously spearheaded the massive gathering on development in Johannesburg last year, and the Indian diplomat has been involved in planning many other world events over the years.

APNov 16 2003
Brazil Leans Away From Microsoft
BRASILIA, Brazil - If he is to make good on his promise to improve life for the tens of millions of Brazilians who live in dire poverty, President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva knows that one key challenge is to bridge a massive technology gap.

Yahoo NewsNov 03 2003
Charity challenges programmers to code for society
MySociety.org has launched a scheme to fund the kinds of IT projects normally overlooked by commercial software houses.
Software programmers have a new opportunity to use their technical skills to develop socially beneficial IT projects through a scheme launched last week.

MySociety.org, a not-for-profit organisation, is an attempt to invent and create low-cost initiatives that benefit the wider community, and work across electronic networks such as the Internet or mobile phone networks.

CNET AsiaNov 03 2003
Vietnam opts for open source
Vietnam government wants to eliminate Microsoft operating system to reduce demand for pirated software.
Vietnamese authorities have ruled that all government desktop computers must run open-source operating systems by 2005.

According to a report in siliconvalley.com, officials said the move is being carried out in an attempt to curb the rampant levels of software piracy in the country.

Unesco Free Software PortalAug 21 2003
Conference on Free Software Development and Usage
An article about the first Latin American and Caribbean Conference on Free Software Development and Usage (LACFREE) that was organized by a Free Software Developers and Users Consortium.
Some thousand free software experts gathered last week in Cusco, Peru, at the first Latin American and the Caribbean Conference on Free Software Development and Usage (LACFREE) that was organized by a Free Software Developers and Users Consortium, the UNESCO Offices in Lima and Montevideo and the Instituto Nacional de Estadística e Informática of Peru.

CNET - news.comAug 29 2001
Governments push open-source software
Governments around the world have found a new rallying cry--"Software libre!"--and Microsoft is working overtime to quell it.
A recent global wave of legislation is compelling government agencies, and in some cases government-owned companies, to use open-source or free software unless proprietary software is the only feasible option.

This legal movement, earliest and most pronounced in Brazil, but also showing signs of catching on elsewhere in Latin America, Europe and Asia, is finding ready converts as governments struggle to close sometimes vast digital divides with limited information-technology budgets.

Linux World
South Africa taps open source to boost local IT
South Africa is working toward transforming itself into a software exporter by developing an open source software (OSS) industry.
South Africa is working toward transforming itself into a software exporter by developing an open source software (OSS) industry.

"Using OSS ... coordinated strategy and policy interventions, we have the opportunity to reduce the barriers to entry into the market for new companies," said Imraan Saloojee, manager of information and communication technologies (ICT) at South Africa's (SA's) Department of Science and Technology, in an e-mail.

Venezuela Opt For Open Source
Venezuela's Government Shifts to Open Source Software
According to government sources in Venezuela, the South American nation has announced an official policy that exclusively calls for the use of open source software in that government.

The announcement, made on Wednesday, stated that from now on, all software developed for the government must be licenced under the GPL.

Open source has strategic role: Malaysia
The Malaysian government has reaffirmed its support for the use and development of open-source software, saying that it has a strategic role.
Open source software gives the chance for Malaysia and other developing nations to boost their economies through ICT…Therefore, it is only natural that the government should now be examining the strategic role that we can play to encourage the adoption of open source by the entire Malaysian infocommunications industry Amar Leo Moggie, Minister of Energy, Communications and Multimedia, was quoted as saying in a report by official news agency Bernama.

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