Open Source for Equality was part of the Global Digital Development Forum this year at an insightful expert panel discussion about "How can open-source drive the growth of local digital innovations in Uganda?".
Digital innovations developed out of open source models can be disruptive in low- and middle-income countries as they leverage collaboration, make adaptation to different contexts possible and split costs among stakeholders. The barriers to developing useful tools and assets are lowered and there is potential for increased product quality and inclusion. The role of digital innovations in economic growth and development in Uganda is increasingly recognized as it is around the rest of the world including due to the unprecedented challenge posed by COVID-19. However, software developers and content creators often frown at this model – convinced that it would prevent them from growing a viable business. In this expert panel, we discussed the pros and cons of open-source digital innovations, went over successful use cases for the promotion of digital public goods, discussed barriers or incentives to promote uptake of open-source and debunked myths around open-source.
The session also kicked-off our Open Source for Equality in Uganda which aims to bring together development organizations, social entrepreneurs, software developers, and content creators to support local ecosystems where open software thrives and contributes to the Sustainable Development Goals. The panel was organized by the Response Innovation Lab and took place on May 5 at the Fairway Hotel in Kampala, Uganda.
- Marcel Heyne – Founder of Open Source for Equality and and Managing Director of URIDU
- Peter Batalli, founder and executive director of CTEN
- Richard Zulu, Team Lead, Outbox Uganda
- Barbara Birungi or Leticia Nakitende, Women in Technology Uganda (WiTU)
- Aidah Bukubuza, Digital Literacy Initiative
- Allan Mbabani, OpenStreetMap Uganda
- Moderator: Deborah Aanyu Oduman, Open Source Community Africa, Kampala Chapter
- MC: Charlène Cabot, Response Innovation Lab Uganda, hosted by Save the Children
Here is a recording of the event: