21 year-old Ghanaian’s OS catches on

COMPUTING

|
Image: Raindolf Owusu . By Nana Appiah Acquaye
Raindolf Owusu

By Nana Appiah Acquaye, Accra, Ghana

In a quiet environment in the heart of the capital, Accra, lives a 21-year-old software and web developer, Raindolf Owusu, who has just launched a new Anansi Operating System, patronised not only in  Ghana but also overseas. Biztechafrica caught up with him to learn more.

BTA:Describe the software - what does it do, and who is it targeted at?

RO: Anansi Operating System is an Open Suse 12.1 clone OS we developed on top of the linux kernel which re-defines the unix desktop user experience. It is a general purpose operating system from enterprise to entertainment purpose. It is free and you don’t have to buy Office (Word, Power-point, Excel etc.) separately. It comes with Libre Office preinstalled. (Saved ~ $200) You are free from Viruses so you don’t have to buy another upgrade of Norton or any other Antivirus software. (Saved ~ $75) 

BTA: What prompted you to create this software - was there a gap in the market for it?

RO: I am a strong advocate of free and open source software. I realized that proprietary operating systems are being entrenched in our society. Companies and the government spend so much money on paying for licenses for this software, whereas that money could be used to improve other sectors like education. Proprietary software may contain so many bugs and also can easily be attacked by viruses and malicious software. I believe that the way forward for advancement in technology is the collaborative use of open source technologies.

Africa is on the move, and software and technologies are a powerful tool for boosting economic growth and poverty reduction. There is always a gap in the market for a great innovative product. After facebook and twitter, everyone thought there was no gap for any new social network but Google plus and pinterest proved otherwise.

BTA: How far advanced is development on your new software?

RO: It is already in the market. We launched it exactly two weeks ago and it has had over 2314 downloads on my server. www.oasiswebsoft.com

The open source community around the world have created a torrent file for the OS  and it has been downloaded more 2370 times, making a total of 4684 downloads and still counting. http://www.anansios.oasiswebsoft.com/ 

BTA: Is there anything similar on the market already? If so, what makes this different?

RO: There are so many Linux distributions including Ubuntu, Fedora and  Finnix. Anansi has a Gnome 3 desktop environment and we have embedded all the basic software and system wares that will enhance your desktop connectivity examples are wine-devel package, apache2 package, audacity package, libreoffice-base package, anansi softwares, netbeans-javaparser package, plus many more.

BTA: Who designed it?

RO: I built it with my colleagues from my university, Aaron Nii Adom Nathan and Jeffery Aboagye-Asare. We are now third year university students studying Information technology. We are Open Source Software Developers with proven track record of successful projects, like Anansi Web Browser.

We are capable of working independently and also do well with a distributed team. Also, we possess the ability to work on all the states of software development process from requirements to final deployment. We write code in so many programming languages including Java,C++,C,python,php and many more. The other software we embedded in the OS are from open source developers from around the world.

BTA: What were the biggest challenges on the way to achieving this new product?

RO: Funding. We spent so much money trying to secure an unlimited server to host the OS for downloads. Most of our programming skills are self-taught but our biggest obstacle we faced was not having an expert to physically train us with some of the technologies we were working with.

We did a lot of learning online but it would have been even better if we had a technical person do that in front of us so that we could have a Q and A session.

BTA: Where do you see Ghana's software development sector 5 years from now?

RO: 5 years from now 80% of software used by Ghanaians will be built by Ghanaians or Africans. The software industry is growing at a fast pace and everyone is getting involved.  

BTA: What interventions would help the sector grow?

RO: 1.Attention and investments from the Government and venture capitalists. 

2.Collaborative software developments will also boost the tech scene in Ghana. You will realize that there are so many developers and startups building similar apps instead of coming together in the spirit of free and open source development to build one great app. 

BTA: What would your advice be to other aspiring entrepreneurs in Ghana's and Africa's software market?

RO: Always ask God first to direct your path, look for a relevant problem around you, find the right tools and technology to build the solutions. There is so much relevant data made available online to make your work easy. Use these technologies and don’t limit yourself creatively.



Share the News

Get Daily Newsletter

comments powered by Disqus

MORE COMPUTING NEWS

Botswana women missing from ICT

There has been a rallying call for women in Botswana to consider a lifetime participation in the Information and Communication Technology if the sector is to realise any meaningful growth as well as a fair gender representation.   Read More

Globecomm, Tanzania Support Foundation take computers to rural school

Globecomm announced today that it has donated desktop computers to a school in the Tanzanian village of Selela to aid the mission of the Tanzanian Support Foundation to help small communities become more self-sufficient in education, healthcare, hygiene and clean water.   Read More

The Network is dead. Long live the network!

Your network is vastly bigger than the Internet itself, says Infoblox.  Read More

Schneider Electric’s off-grid solar and backup power inverter/charger now in southern Africa

Schneider Electric Solar Business, a global leader in solutions for the solar power conversion chain, has released its off-grid solar and backup power inverter/charger, the Conext SW, in the southern African region.  Read More

Phase3 seeks digitally enhanced life for special needs kids

West Africa’s largest independent fibre optic infrastructure and telecommunications services provider, Phase3 Telecom, has urged stakeholders in the ICT industry to offer children living with disabilities a good quality of life through the deployment of assistive technology. Read More

Kenya, China partner to grow ICT skills

Global technology company Huawei, in partnership with Kenya’s Ministry of Information and Technology, has dispatched to China the first beneficiaries of the “Huawei Seeds for the Future” Internship programme. Read More

Big trends for 2015

Industry experts share their thoughts on the innovations that will impact business next year. Read More

ASUS appoints Andre Goosen as Country Service Manager

ASUS, the Taiwanese technology innovation brand, has appointed Andre Goosen to the position of Country Service Manager, a new role created in line with ASUS’ increased focus on after sales service. Read More

iWayAfrica managed service solution launched in Kenya

Pan African telecoms operator, Gondwana International Networks (GIN) has announced that its iWayAfrica business has launched a managed infrastructure and services solution in Kenya.  Read More

Kenya Ports Authority first to deploy Pamoja’s RUBiQ cloud platform

The Kenya Ports Authority is the first institution in East Africa to adopt the RUBiQ Cloud-based governance, risk and compliance platform.  Read More

PRESS OFFICES

Sage ERP AfricaSAP AfricaSage Pastel AccountingTrust PayVMWareSamsung ElectronicsMitsumi DistributionPhoenix DistributionMTN BusinessSchneider ElectricMultichoice

FEATURED STORY

PWC: Optimism abounds but a bumpy journey ahead for somePWC: Optimism abounds but a bumpy journey ahead for some

PwC’s ‘Capital Projects & infrastructure in East Africa, Southern Africa and West Africa,’ report says infrastructure spend in the region is projected to reach $180bn per annum by 2025.

IN DEPTH

Africa lags on digital migration Africa lags on digital migration

Only three African countries have so far completed the digital migration process, and serious issues are hampering the migration in other nations.