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Coded in Country Launch

By Wayan Vota on June 19, 2009

Appfrica at work in Uganda

With the software development resources available in Africa, how can we encourage people and companies to shift their coding needs to the continent? One way is for companies to highlight the percentage of their software development budget spent with developers local to Africa.

And that’s the goal of Coded in Country:

One option we hope many groups can put their support behind is to promote a brand akin to to the “FairTrade” label for software projects in which a software package or module can be certified as “Coded in Country” if a sufficient percentage of the software development budget was spent on local developers. Projects will be encouraged to report their “CIC number”, i.e., the percentage of their software development budget that is local.

I really like this idea – I know that within Inveneo, we always looking to increase the local participation in our projects, and I hope the Coded in Country concept will expand to include project budgets as well as software development funding. With the ever-increasing ICT skills in Africa, there is no reason why funders like USAID could not start requiring a percentage of ICT-related funding to be Africa-based.

Well, as long as everyone recognizes that we’re talking time and not materials. Sad but true – almost all technology equipment is made in Asia today, not in Africa or the USA, and that’s not going to change.

Filed Under: Software
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Wayan Vota co-founded ICTworks and is the Digital Health Director at IntraHealth International. He also co-founded Technology Salon, MERL Tech, ICTforAg, ICT4Djobs, ICT4Drinks, JadedAid, Kurante, OLPC News and a few other things. Opinions expressed here are his own and do not reflect the position of IntraHealth International or other ICTWorks sponsors.
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