18 Mar 2014 FOSS Strategy
Since January 2011, Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) advocates have been urging the Egyptian government to shift from proprietary software towards FOSS, and the argument was mostly financial, based on saving the costs of acquiring licenses. Nevertheless, the argument later included the capabilities that made FOSS excel over its competitors, in terms of security, flexibility, agility and control. In 2012, the Egyptian Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) has started to respond to the requests to adopt FOSS, and have included it in its 2013 ICT strategy. In March 2014, MCIT announced a thorough FOSS strategy to push for its adoption in the public sector, industry and educational institutions.
The effort of producing this strategy included lots of stakeholders from within the government, the industry, and the civil society. Among the ones who worked on this project was Spirula Systems’ founder, Ahmed Mekkawy. Moreover, the FOSS strategy was developed after a success story of the elections portal Elections.eg that Spirula Systems team has worked on since 2011 for 7 consecutive rounds of referendums and elections.
This strategic movement from the Egyptian government towards FOSS is opening lots of doors for the Egyptian ICT ecosystem. We fully support this move and hope that it turns out to have quick and long lasting results.