The Next Billion Creators: Open Source Community Africa
Driving the open source movement in the continent.
Helping drive the open source movement
I met Samson last year at SustainOSS in London and was so taken by his energy and drive and passion for all things open source + Africa! He is one special guy and I am thrilled that Open Collective has been functional in supporting his community and enabling others to do so.
How did you get involved in the OSS community?
It started as an effort from the One Laptop Per Child Project in Nigeria, late 2009 and I was about 10 when I got my first Linux machine (Sugar Desktop Environment on top Fedora). I started learning Python, and I wrote my first application for the Sugar Desktop. Some part of me wanted to do more, so I started contributing to the Sugar Labs community with bugs report/fixes, advocacy and was elected to become a board member of the Sugar Labs community.
So for the past seven years; I have been speaking at technology conferences and meetups, teaching and consulting around ed-tech with various organizations. Even helping to organize meetups around OSS.
Amazing. I heard you’ve been the youngest mentor in GSOC, is that right?
Yes. I outgrew Google Code-In contest after finishing high school at age 15, so I became a Google Code-In mentor for about two years before joining Google Summer of Code as one of the youngest mentors and the youngest to attend the GSoC summit.
Changing the perception of Africans from just billion users to the Next Billion Creators.
Tell me about OSCA, who are you, what are you trying to achieve?
Open Source Community Africa (OSCA) is for open source lovers, enthusiasts, advocates 🥑 and experts within and across Africa with the sole aim of increasing the rate of credible contributions by Africans involved in the sphere of technology to open source projects both locally and globally, changing the perception of Africans from just billion users to the Next Billion Creators.
We are going to support this mission with;
Since we want to reach out to Africans, we need to be in different cities across Africa. The chapter aims to bring the people together to discuss how open source can help the communities, personal development, and how they can give back to the community. This will be the heart of OSCA as it will help bring up advocates who will eventually become leads for their cities. Allowing monthly meetups, members can meet to promote educational materials to enable enthusiasts to understand how open source culture works.
Open Source Festival:
This is going to be an annual regional event(conference) which will bring open sourcerers (open source contributors) together to about everything open source, attracting members and non-members of OSCA.
We believe that to make Africans creators, we will need to give them the platform to create and contribute to open source projects.
We believe that what will make OSCA standout from other open source movements will be about the strong push for members projects and contributions to projects. We believe that to make Africans creators, we will need to give them the platform to create and contribute to open source projects. We are going to work with different open source projects to make sure that Africans can easily contribute to the projects they use daily. This will be as a result of the OSCA chapter success.
(Stay tuned for news on the Open Collective + OSCA Collaboration for paid bounties during their meetups)
How do you see the OSS ecosystem developing in Africa? How is it evolving in Nigeria in particular?
The technology ecosystem is multiplying every year. This shows how dedicated people within the ecosystem are improving every day to make sure there is some level of success. Existing open source outreach programs from top companies are also multiplying as more people are aware of OSS. Check out for example the Forloop community and the Ingressive Campus Ambassadors.
Nigeria is one of the fastest growing countries, not just in the economy but also around technology. The ecosystem in Nigeria is fantastic because every year, there is something remarkable happening. There is a lot of communities in Nigeria that support open source movement and Nigerians so far are getting really close to the open source community and getting jobs centered around OSS.
What are your wildest dreams for this community?
My dreams are to have OSCA meetups in all countries in Africa, foster the open source culture across cities, seeing people from Africa attending global conferences to speak and advocate for open source. The rapid growth of the number of pull requests to open source projects and donations to OSS projects they depend on. Having the most active OSS community across and within Africa.
What do you need? How can others help?
The OSCA community is multiplying across African cities, and so we need help with funding to support the local OSCA meetups financially, more partnerships from open source projects and companies that have support OSS as we believe that more collaboration from existing open source projects will help make us expand more significant and better.
Thank you Samson!
Dear reader, you can:
❤ Fund OSCA on open collective: opencollective.com/osca
❤ Attend a meetup: announced in twitter.com/oscafrica and opencollective.com/osca#events
❤ Join a project: github.com/oscommunityafrica
Meeting Samson @ SustainOSS was so inspiring and I can’t wait to see the results of our growing OSCA + Open Collective partnership.