Uganda Adopts Free And Open Source Software For E-Governance

Hillary Muheebwa | Intellectual Property Watch | December 19, 2014

The population in Uganda has been growing rapidly. The country now has 35 million people. In order to provide quality services to its citizens and to improve the national competitiveness through administration innovation, the government has adopted free and open source software as the preferred mode of operation for electronic government (e-government) services and platforms.

In July 2011, the Uganda cabinet approved the National E-government Policy Framework with the overall objective of improving public service delivery through a systematic transformation from manual to electronic-based systems and practices.  The National Information Technology Authority-Uganda Act, 2009, defines e-government as the use of information and communication technologies to deliver public services in a convenient, efficient customer-oriented and cost-effective way.  The primary delivery models of e-government can be divided into four groupings: government-to-citizen/government-to-consumer/government-for-citizen; government-to-business; government-to-government; and government-to-employees.

In order to achieve solid economic and developmental benefits, the government of Uganda has resolved to adopt free and open source software, as the preferred mode of operation for e-government services and platforms.  According to the National Free and Open Source Software and Open Standards Policy, adopted in 2014, Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) is computer software whose source code is made available and with a licence in which the copyright holder provides the rights to access, study, modify, and redistribute the software to anyone and for any purpose...