Johan Maddog Hall

By Semaj Itosno, Nairobi, Kenya

Kenya will host a Freedom Online Conference to be addressed by Open Source guru Jon ‘Maddog’ Hall from September 6-7.

The Conference is a global forum that brings together Government leaders to discuss the promotion of internet freedom.

Ahead of the conference, Kenya’s young activists, techies, bloggers and internet users will explore and debate the themes of the conference at a round table event hosted at the iHub on Thursday, August 30.

In June 2011, Kenya became the second African country to launch an open data initiative after South Africa, where it unleashed several government data sets online for use by the masses.

On September 1, Nairobi will also host a Software freedom Day to discuss how to leverage on the emerging software technologies. The event shall be held at Strathmore University in Nairobi.

Themed an Innovative, Open Future for Sustainable Socio-Economic Development,  the Software Freedom Day  will be graced by Jon 'Maddog' Hall, the Director of Linux  International. 

Mr Hall, or Maddog as he is widely known, is a globally renowned Open Source advocate, having supported the early development of Linux.

Kenya has been pushing the open government agenda and the Software Freedom day will be a boost in this front.

There has been debate on whether the government should adopt free and open source software or the proprietary software. Early this year, there were reports that cyber cafes were ditching proprietary software for the perceived cheaper and user-friendly open source software.

This was due to a step up in the fight against piracy by software maker Microsoft in conjunction with the Kenya Copyright Board (Kecobo) who had raided several businesses suspected to be dealing in unlicensed Microsoft software, confiscating computers and instituting legal action against offenders.

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