[ubuntu-za] Fwd: World e-Parliament 2008 Report (Ubuntu Zimbabwe)

Hilton Theunissen hilton at inkululeko.co.za
Wed Dec 3 14:36:29 GMT 2008


I am registered on their mailing list, the guys are really active and 
constantly share their ideas and skills.

Kind regards.

Hilton Theunissen
Inkululeko Technologies
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Morgan Collett wrote:
> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> From: Neil Coetzer <nit006.5 at gmail.com>
> Date: Wed, Dec 3, 2008 at 12:39
> Subject: World e-Parliament 2008 Report (Ubuntu Zimbabwe)
> To: "Ubuntu local community team (LoCo) contacts"
> <loco-contacts at lists.ubuntu.com>
> Below is the report submitted to me from the ICT Director of the
> Parliament of Zimbabwe on his presentation given at the recent
> e-Parliament Conference in Brussels. The Parliament of Zimbabwe have
> chosen to use Ubuntu on their desktops, and very possibly on their
> servers too, and the ICT Director is also a member of the Ubuntu
> Zimbabwe LoCo Team. I would be very interested in having discussions
> with any other LoCo Teams in Africa, with regard to promoting the use
> of FOSS/Ubuntu in African parliaments, particularly since a number of
> the African parliaments present at the conference showed interest in
> the concept.
>                           Summary report on
>           Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) Presentation
>  by Ganyani Khosa (ICT Director – Parliament of Zimbabwe) to the World
>                    e-Parliament Conference held at
>             the European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium
>                        from 25-26 November 2008
> The Global Centre for ICT in Parliament already knew that the Parliament
> of Zimbabwe was advocating Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) in
> automating its processes. As a result they requested that I do a
> presentation outlining the business case for the migration to FOSS. Two
> other parliaments have also opted to use FOSS for their operations,
> namely Italy and France, and my presentation followed immediately after
> that of France.
> The final PowerPoint presentation is available on request.
> A number of African parliaments showed interests in the presentation
> including Ghana, South Africa, Malawi and Tanzania.
> The following questions were asked among other issues that were
> discussed-:
>     1. Challenges in migrating calendars (MS Outlook as well as those
>        created using other proprietary software). Parliament of
>        Zimbabwe argued that migrating in general is not a major
>        constraint since there were no shared calendars in use.
>        Parliament will have to use the calendaring system built into
>        the FOSS.
>     2. Challenges importing documents done by very old versions of MS
>        Word and MS Excel especially those with nested tables and
>        multiple formulae. Most documents in Parliament are not complex
>        and can be easily and comfortably migrated.
>     3. Italy presented that cost cutting should not necessarily be the
>        biggest motivation for migration because major savings cannot be
>        realized in the short term but probably in the long term. This
>        raised the question of affordability in that those countries
>        with good budgets can afford the licensing and purchase of
>        proprietary software where as those with skinny budgets (such as
>        most African countries) tend to have other priorities (hunger
>        relief, HIV/AIDS interventions, Health, etc) and the purchase
>        and licensing of software is usually sidelined. Parliaments in
>        such countries, therefore, will pirate software. The Parliament
>        of Zimbabwe weighed the risk of pirating against the few issues
>        that could be raised against FOSS and decided to go the FOSS
>        route.
>     4. Challenges relating to training/re-training Officers of
>        Parliament and Members of Parliament in the use of the FOSS.
>        Parliament submitted that there is a huge difference in the
>        appearance of Office 2007 and earlier versions of Office in such
>        that Parliaments that opt to migrate to Office 2007 will
>        certainly have to re-train. By comparison, the appearance of
>        Open Office is not too different from earlier versions of Office
>        to the extent that it might be easier training for OpenOffice
>        than for Office 2007. Having said that, Parliament of Zimbabwe
>        has the added advantage of having just come out of general
>        elections meaning most of the Members of Parliament are new and
>        will require training. Their training will, therefore, include
>        ICT training. The Officers will also be trained along with the
>        Members of Parliament.
> In the end, it was realized that FOSS is the way to go for Parliaments
> in countries that operate on thin budgets. Given that there is a lot of
> community support and certainly a FOSS equivalent for most desktop
> applications, most African countries should consider FOSS for their
> desktops.
> --
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