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The 5th African Conference on FOSS and the Digital Commons to be hosted by Open Source Foundation for Nigeria in Abuja

The Idlelo 5 conference on FOSS and the Digital Commons took place from March 19th – March 23rd, 2012 in Abuja, Nigeria. The IDLELO Conference, themed “Open Source Solutions for achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)”, is a premier international forum on Free and Open Source Software in Africa and is therefore an especially important event for any ICT programme.

ict@innovation contributes to the 5th African Conference on FOSS and the Digital Commons (Idlelo 5) as an integral part of the cooperation with FOSSFA and a contribution to the development of ICT in Africa. As such we hosted several sessions including workshops on community empowerment, FOSS business model, a bootcamp on Linux system administration (together with Linux Professional Institute of Nigeria) as well as an award for “The Best FOSS Business Innovation in Africa”.

See also: blog on Idlelo 5



Press release
Abuja, March 2nd, 2012

Under the distinguished chairperson  of the Honourable Minister of Communication Technology of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Engineer Mrs Omobola Johnson, the 5th African Conference on FOSS (Free and Open Source Software) and the Digital Commons – Idlelo 5 will hold at the Umaru Musa Yar'Adua Center in Abuja from the 19th to the 23rd of March 2012. IDLELO 5 follows successful series of conferences already held in Cape Town, South Africa; Nairobi, Kenya; Dakar, Senegal and Accra, Ghana.   

The overall theme of the conference is: “Open Source Solutions for achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)



IDLELO 5 will consist of keynotes by internationally-acclaimed ICT and Open Source authorities, sessions on all the Millennium Development Goals and demos and exhibitions of cutting edge technology in hardware, software and recent applications.  A high-level session on the state of Open Data in Africa will see the participation of India, South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania, Brazil and many others.

Certified  training sessions for eLearning in Moodle for universities, Network Monitoring and Management for Network Engineers, Content Management Systems for Webmasters, Internet Governance Capacity for Policy Makers, and FOSS Business Models for SMEs have been secured for all participants.
In collaboration with the Linux Professional Institute of Nigeria, a bootcamp will be organised and on-the-site examinations and certification will be ensured for all aspiring  and senior Linux Professionals.  IDLELO 5 has also acquired collaboration with world-class Ethical Hackers to hold an extra-ordinary Ethical Hacking training during the event.

Jon “maddog” Hall, of the Linux Institute of the United States of America and one of the earliest founders of open source has confirmed a very important keynote. The Director General of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Professor Cleopas Angaye, will also be giving key indicators of the information technology development initiatives of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.



During a cultural gala dinner at the Sheraton Hotel on the 20th of March, an award ceremony will reveal:

  • The Guido Sohne Fellow of 2012
  • The Best African FOSS Community
  • The Best African FOSS Reporter
  • The Best FOSS Business Innovation in Africa



Registrations for IDLELO 5 have arrived from Asia, Europe, USA, Canada, Latin America and all over Africa. It is expected that Yar'Adua Center will be hosting at least 1000 participants during this week.


A limited number of exhibtion booths have been reserved for top technologies players in the country. NGOs, artists and all development stakeholders will also find a place for an exhibition during IDLELO.




1. The Federal Ministry of Communication Technology – COMTECH
2. The National Communications Commission - NCC
3. The National Information Technology Development Agency - NITDA
4. The Economic Community of West Africa State – ECOWAS
5. The Common Market for Southern Africa – COMESA
6. The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa – ECA
7. UNESCO - France
8. Network Startup Resource Center – USA
9. GIZ – Germany
11. The Nigeria ICT Forum of Partnership Institutions LTD/GTE 
12. Federal University,  Oye Ekiti
13. Backbone Connectivity Network Nigerian Limited
14. MainOne
15. Nigerian Internet Registries Associan
16. OMATEK Computer
19. IBM Africa - Kenya
20. DiploFoundation  - Malta
21. The Ghana-India Kofi Annan Center for Excellence in ICT  - Ghana
22. The Deutsche Welle, Germany
23. Mandriva Africa
24. Google Africa
25. Linux Professionals Institute - LPI
26. Nigerian Internet Exchange Point - NIXP
27. Association of African Univeristies - AAU
28. Creative Commons - CC
29. Abuja Logistics Company - ALC
30. West Africa Internet Governance Forum – WAIGF
31. The Yar'Adua Foundation




About the Conference
IDLELO 5 will be one event for FOSS practitioners, developers and advocates as well as governments, education and businesses to showcase results, share experiences and challenges, review progress on the continent in diverse domains and chart a way forward for an African future grounded in true ownership of technology that will help achieve the Millennium Development Goals. IDLELO 5 offers a real opportunity to discuss new issues, tackle complex problems and find advanced enabling solutions able to shape new trends in FOSS and related technologies on the African continent.

IDLELO is a Southern African word meaning "Common Grazing Ground". It is  the premier African continent's  open technology gathering.  Every two years, the continent dedicates a one-week period to appraise its open source and free software initiatives, expertise, community, challenges and experiences. This March event is the continent's rallying point for critical issues in the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) as they are directly related to the development of its people, governments and business enterprises. is the official web site




The Free Software and Open Source Foundaiton for Africa – FOSSFA, is Africa's premier Non-Governmental FOSS organisation on the continent. The vision of FOSSFA is to promote the use of FOSS and the FOSS model in African development. FOSSFA supports the integration of FOSS in national policies, coordinates, promotes and adds value to African FOSS initiatives, creativity, industry, expertise, efforts and activities at all levels. FOSSFA partners with development organizations who share these goals towards a participatory and gender-mainstreamed sustainable development and the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals in Africa.  is the official website

The Open Source Foundation for Nigeria is the nation's association of its FOSS activists, media, academia, researchers, developers, businesses, and agencies for the common FOSS objective. Its mission  is to promote and educate decision makers in government, educators, NGOs, businesses and citizens on the advantages of using the Linux Operating System, Free and Open Source Applications and Open Standards.  The official web site is

Mr Dele Ajisomo        OSFON President     08088356709        dele[at]


Idlelo 5 was a wonderful experience for learning and networking withing the Open Source community. The Open Source Community is getting bigger and stronger. The inclusion of Open Source Software in the nation's ICT Policy will be a great boost.
I look forward to idlelo 6 in Nairobi.

The conference and exhibition is very informative. I strongly advocate for open sourcing. Open source encourages people to come up with new innovations which will help in betterment of the world.

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