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

One Channel Botswana acquires top technical skills

As part of its future growth strategy, One Channel Botswana has announced that it is acquiring top industry skills.  Read More

Cloud - the perfect weapon for SMEs

Cloud Computing gives smaller companies unprecedented access to enterprise-grade software and infrastructure services – allowing them to grow rapidly and compete with larger, more established competitors, says T-Systems. Read More

AfDB, MasterCard to expand financial inclusion in Africa

The African Development Bank (AfDB) and MasterCard have announced a broad collaboration that aims to expand financial inclusion across the African continent by broadening access and usage of digital financial services. Read More

Partnership expands ICT support for Ebola fight in West Africa

Collaboration among NetHope, Facebook, the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, Cisco, EveryLayer and Inveneo will provide sustainable Internet connectivity solutions to support frontline response efforts and long-term recovery in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea. Read More

IT hiccups put Botswana varsity in disarray

Botswana’s biggest university, the University of Botswana (UB) has been hamstrung by an IT problem that threatens to throw the institution into disarray. Read More

Soronko Solutions takes Tech Needs Girls programme to deprived regions in Ghana

Over 300 girls in the Upper West region of Ghana will be receiving hands-on education on ICT, thanks to the Soronko Solutions Road show known as the Tech Needs Girls programme.  Read More

Mascom to hand over Kitsong centres

As has become tradition, this year, Mascom will hand over ten Business Communication Centres, popularly known as Kitsong Centres. Read More

Hot five tech trends for 2015

In2IT Technologies South Africa predicts this year’s top five tech trends. Read More

Human interface services revenue to break billion dollar barrier within 5 years

Juniper Research says that by 2019 the global market for services based on gesture and biometric interface technologies will be worth an estimated $1.2 billion. Read More

Pandora’s set-top-box

Controlling and facilitating access to the vast amount of content available on the internet and on our TVs, smart phones and myriad of other connected devices in the home today is no easy task, says Pace.  Read More

PRESS OFFICES

Sage ERP AfricaSAP AfricaSage Pastel AccountingTrust PayVMWareSamsung ElectronicsMitsumi DistributionPhoenix DistributionMTN BusinessSchneider ElectricMultichoiceMicrosoft 4Afrika

FEATURED STORY

UCC launches 2015 ACIA awardsUCC launches 2015 ACIA awards

Uganda has launched the fifth Annual Communications and Innovation Awards, which celebrate and foster ICT innovation and achievement.

IN DEPTH

Kenya’s digital TV battle hots up Kenya’s digital TV battle hots up

Kenya’s journey to Digital TV broadcasting took a new turn this week, when the Communication Authority of Kenya (CAK) accused three local media firms of intent to disrupt the process.

COMPANY NEWS

MTN to empower African businesses with AWS Direct Connect

MTN Group today announced it would be the first African company to offer Amazon Web Services (AWS) Direct Connect to business customers across multiple countries on the ...

“All Systems GO!” for the DStv Eutelsat Star Awards in Zambia

It’s “All Systems GO!” for the winners of the fourth edition of the DStv Eutelsat Star Awards to be announced at the awards ceremony in Lusaka, Zambia ...

Spectra Wireless, Microsoft 4Afrika launch first commercial TV white spaces services in Africa

University students will now get fast, affordable Internet bundles and receive zero-interest financing when purchasing a new device.