Angolan Government Choses Mandriva to Develop Information Society

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.