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Angolan Government Choses Mandriva to Develop Information Society

Sep 19, 2007, 11:15 (2 Talkback[s])

Mandriva and Angola today announce the signature of a broad technical cooperation agreement.

Angola--a country with strong links with Portugal and Brazil--has recently celebrated 5 years of peace after almost 30 years of civil conflict. There are strong signs of a booming economy throughout the country: Angola is one of the world fastest growing economies (+20.6% in 2006) thanks to considerable natural resources, among which oil and diamonds are the most significant, and to an active agricultural sector. Angola is now looking to become an information society.

"We think that an intelligent use of Information Technologies will help to achieve social justice and poverty reduction, due to the way it facilitates the living of the citizens," says Pr. Pedro Teta, Angolan Vice-Minister of Science and Technology.

Although Internet access is available in all 18 provinces of the country, a lot remains to be done, due to the lack of telecommunications infrastructure and training. The Angolan government is currently installing fiber optics to bring telecommunication costs down. Angola has a global program to teach first all civil servants to use a computer, then all students.

Pr. Pedro Teta is also the coordinator of the National Commission for Information Technologies (CNTI), whose role is to contribute to reducing the digital divide in Angola both at the state level and in the general population. CNTI has identified open source software as a major strategic component in its efforts to build an information society.

The benefits of open source software are:

  • independence from software publishers;
  • capacity to master technology;
  • opportunity to develop a local ecosystem.

Mandriva and CNTI have signed an agreement by which Mandriva will bring its knowledge and experience to Angola, providing technology solutions, training and consulting services. Mandriva will be training the first core team of open source specialists, it will help CNTI do the first open source deployments and it will provide technology and products and ensure their maintenance.

Mandriva will work in closed collaboration with a local partner, Troy. A Mandriva Brazil team began its activities in the summer, with plans to train 50 Angolan engineers. The first results of this program will be communicated next November at the Angola IT Forum held by the CNTI.

"The Angolan government drew up a strategic plan of development of information technologies in order to standardize computing solutions in institutions. It is also planning to train public servants. We chose Mandriva to help us in this effort," says Pr. Pedro Teta.

"We are very proud to be involved in this initiative to bridge the digital divide in Angola. This success validates our emerging markets strategy. We look forward to making this a success for Angola and an example for other African countries," adds François Bancilhon, CEO of Mandriva.

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