Our Universities and colleges are developing Programers and Software Engineers in the tune of 100 per year.
The industry requirements seem to support ready made packages or proprietary software. Some of these colleges have no PCs and software and heaviliy depends on theory. For those that have, the curriculum is developed by academicians without involvement of industry and tailored towards a particular manufacturer- Microsoft.
These students are compelled to start new IT Industry Certfication ( Vendor Courses like Cisco’s CCNA and Microsoft CCNA) Courses for support of applications as opposed to developing their own.
It turns out that there is actually more remuneration for these Industry certification. There are no Jobs for Software Developers and even if one is employed as a Programmer, Systems administration is the actual job to be done.
Enterpreneurship to start up your own Software house seem not to be viable as the market demands proprietary Software and always seem to be in hurry for ready made applications whether they work for or against them they do not mind!!!!
The donars are giving funds for ICT and specifications are for propritary software. Donated computers have a price tag of free Microsoft Software. Most PCs have Microsoft Windows operating Systems pre loaded. Multi national and International organisations decide on behalf of their Zambian branches which version of Microsoft Products and other propriatary software should be in the installed base!!!
Now an opportunity of Open source has come in an environment where software development is not priotised. What can be done to create demand and build capacity and quality standards and empower our trainers and students with tools and skills? What is our real motivation to keep the momentum that I see is growing on Open Source?
The Players in this good course are many and how to get organised and approach sysmatic manner is worth consideration.
FOSS Working groups
ISPs and IT Firms
Teacher training Colleges
Universities and Colleges offering ICT
Goverment and Ministry of ICT
Zambia Investment Center and other Economic insitutions