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Training Material Content Creation

The Content Creation Community (3C) Group Working Context:

The African FOSS Business Models for ICT-based SMEs context in which the 3C group is working is novel, challenging, but also very interesting. The important role of SMEs in Africa is linked to their relative importance in the overall economy as a major source of income, employment, and innovative business practices. Therefore, SMEs can be strong vehicles for economic and sustainable development in Africa.

However, ICT-based SMEs face a number of challenges which hamper their productivity: (i) access to credit, (ii) inadequate infrastructure, (iii) lack of a skilled labour force to serve products development, (iv) difficulty in winning government (major procurer of goods and services) contracts, (v) inability to resell proprietary solutions because of restrictions imposed by licenses, (vi) lack of professionalism in running business, poor marketing skills, etc.

The technopreneurial spirit throughout Africa is very high and SMEs can benefit from cross-fertilisation of ideas with FOSS projects and communities. This includes benefits such as reducing software development cost, freedom from vendor/supplier lock-in, freedom to customise the software to suit the needs of local customers, benefiting from a diverse developer and tester communities, access to free-of-charge training and support materials, etc. Building businesses on and around FOSS is key to exploiting the potentials this type of software offers.

What knowledge and skills does an entrepreneur need to run a successful FOSS business in Africa in general, and in East and Southern Africa in particular?



The 3C group will exploit and leverage regional best practices and compile examples of adapted business models and marketing related skills in the field of FOSS. Members will collaborate and share their knowledge and experience to create a modular FOSS curriculum which ICT-based SMEs can use to enable them to compete, benefit from, and create innovative local businesses based on FOSS. To this end, members will contribute to the implementation of the ict@innovation program. The 3C group will work  to create the Advance African FOSS Business Models training material and develop and deliver innovative and appropriate FOSS training materials, which may be used to conduct training for IT-Based FOSS SMEs in East and Southern Africa. 



In December, 2008 a call for "Co-editors for materials on FOSS Business Models in Africa" was launched as a first step to develop and implement the high level training program on Advanced African FOSS Business Models for ICT-based companies. In response, nine co-editors were contracted, who were joined by nine other volunteers. Furthermore, the 3C group is blessed with a team of resource persons and reviewers ((R)) who offered their support and expert advise throughout the development phase of the syllabus. Special acknowledgment goes to the AITI team who are the training partners in the ict@innovation program, the ict@innovation Pillar A management of UNU-MERIT, and the ict@innovation program sponsors, InWent. The creation of the Advanced African FOSS Business training material is facilitated by Sulayman K. Sowe of UNU-MERIT (

With full details, we would like to cordially thank for authoring, editing and other contributions the following teams: [Overall editors, curriculum developers, public relations: Sulayman K. Sowe, Karsten Gerloff (The Netherlands), Petra Hagemann, Jin Soo Kim, Balthas Seibold (Germany), Geraldine De Bastion, Andrea Götzke (Germany), George Nyambuya (South Africa)] [content contributors, authors and co-editors : Yese Bwalya (Zambia), Clara Alice Chirwa (Malawi), Alex Gakuru (Kenya), Derek Lakudzala (Malawi), James Wire Lunghabo (Uganda), Nhlanhla Mabaso, Arnold Pietersen (South Africa), Joseph Sevilla (Kenya), Celso Timana (Mozambique)] [content contributor and co-editors (volunteers): Samer Azmy (Egypt), Nico Elema (South Africa), Thomas Jonas, Foibe Kalipi (Namibia), Timothy Kasolo (Zambia), Faye Macheke (South Africa), Glenn McKnight (Canada), Irene Fernandez Monsalve (Spain), Paschalia Ndungwa Ouma (Uganda), Frank Tilugulilwa (Tanzania)] [lead training/ facilitation team for Training-of-Trainers on the ict@innovation FOSS Business Models Training: Shirley Akasreku, Kofi Kwarko, Frederick Yeboah (Ghana)] [ Resource persons, Advice: John 'Maddog' Hall (USA), Arjan de Jager, Rishab A. Ghosh (The Netherlands), Francois Letellier (France), Nnenna Nwakanma (Cote d'Ivoire), Kim Tucker (Switzerland), Victor van Reijswoud (Papua New Guinea), Philipp Schmidt, Thilo Thormeyer (South Africa) ] [ Managers of business models component of ict@innovation, training partners and training material facilitaters: Karsten Gerloff (Germany), Andreas Meiszner (Portugal), Sulayman K Sowe (The Netherlands), Gregor Bierhals (The Netherlands)]

Furthermore, we would like to thank the contributors to the case studies in Module 2. Dorcas Muthoni, Managing Director of OpenWorld Ltd (Kenya); Nico Elema, Managing Director of GIS Global Image (PTY) Ltd (South Africa); Nkem Uwaje.Managing, Managing Director of Future Software Resources Ltd.(Nigeria); Kin Le Roux, Managing Director of Linux Holdings (South Africa); Wire James Lunghabo, Managing Director of Linux Solutions (Uganda); Nahom Tamerat, Managing Director of Amest Santim Systems plc (Ethiopia); Celso D. Timana, Managing Director of CENFOSS (Mozambique), and Dr. Juma Lungo of Zalongwa Technologies Limited (Tanzania). The case studies were designed, conducted, and compiled by Sulayman K. Sowe (UNU-MERIT, Netherlands).



A full pool of African FOSS Business Models trainers can be found here.