February 20, 2004

Open Source CMS Solutions in Africa

Ungana Afrika News writes "Finnish Government to support Southern African
NGOs by funding an Open Source CMS project.

Pretoria, South Africa, 12.2.2004 - The
Finnish government has funded Ungana-Afrika to support Southern
African NGOs, which will include the recommendation of appropriate
web-site and content management solutions using the Open Source
Midgard Content Management System (CMS).

Many non-profit organizations (NGOs) have an advocacy
or educational focus, or coordinate the activities of groups of
organizations. These organizations have expressed significant interest
in establishing a website or they already have one, but lack the
skills to update it. Web design skills are highly marketable, and
employees with expertise in this area do not stay long in a non-profit
environment. Additionally, much has been said about the lack of
localized content in Africa, and the generally low technical skill
levels are a major contributing factor in this regard. NGOs frequently
have a very people-centered interest and are well suited to developing
appropriate local content.

Ungana-Afrika and Nemein, Finnish software consultancy
participating actively in the Open Source community, with the support
of the Finnish Embassy in Pretoria, have determined that an Open
Source CMS would provide an environment that makes it far simpler
for the organizations themselves to develop and modify site content,
and removes from them the burden of technically complex structural
development. Ungana-Afrika's eRider model of technical consultancy
for NGOs is well suited to constructing the initial website structure,
as well as providing training for the organizations in the use of
the system.

"Finland is following the United Nations
Millennium Development Goals and providing its developmental aid
to several innovative ICT initiatives. Midgard Open Source CMS will
hopefully add to Ungana-Afrika's eRider concept's relevance in the
development community." says Maarit Laitinen, Programme Coordinator
in the Embassy of Finland. "The successful partnership between
Ungana-Afrika and Nemein opens excellent opportunities for north-south
Open Source development cooperation." Ms. Laitinen continues.

Technical support for Ungana-Afrika will be provided
by Nemein, a concultancy specialized in web business applications
and solutions that are based on the Open Source Midgard CMS Framework.

For more information about this project, contact:

Jesse Maarit Laitinen
Embassy of Finland
+27 (0)12 343 0275

Henri Bergius
+358 (0)20 198 6032

Toni Eliasz
+27 (0)12 809 0531

Midgard Content Management System

The eRider model

Link: Ungana-Afrika


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