Advanced Search

Please click here to take a brief survey

LinuxChix Africa
Jamais Cascio, 15 Feb 06

greenchix_logo.jpgLinuxChix Africa manages to shatter two stereotypes at the same time: the idea that women aren't interested in free/open source software development; and the idea that women in Africa are bound to traditional cultural roles. Founded in late 2004 by Anna Badimo, a computer science graduate student in South Africa, and Dorcas Muthoni of the Kenya Education Network, LinuxChix Africa seeks to build Linux skills among African women, as well as to support more generally the use of free/open source applications and systems across Africa. Like most Linux and F/OSS communities, much of their work entails professional software development and public advocacy of open source, but LinuxChix Africa adds a unique twist: they focus their outreach on encouraging young women to pursue careers in computing.

LinuxChix Africa was a key participant in the recent Africa Source II conference, which (as we noted at the time) included a particular emphasis on getting more women involved in the use of open computing technologies for economic development. LinuxChix Africa participants place a high value on mentoring and visibility as role models; as they put it, "If they [African women] can see their future, they can realize their future."

The organization, which is a chapter of the global LinuxChix movement, sees Linux and F/OSS as part of a larger spectrum of tools for regional development:

The challenges of Africa are well documented, with HIV/AIDS representing the most significant development challenge of our times. Community development can no longer be viewed in isolation but require multi-tiered, cross-sectoral, and well-coordinated approaches that are aligned to Information and Communications Technology (ICT). Without ICT, communities get left behind and are unable to take advantage of the social and economic benefits that come with ICT. This integration of ICT into social development programmes is often referred to as eDevelopment, eHealth and eLearning and represent models of ICT intervention in development, health and education respectively.

LinuxChix Africa isn't the only women-oriented technology group active on the continent. APC-Africa-Women, an arm of the Association for Progressive Communications, convened the WENT Africa conference (Women's Electronic Networking Training) in December of 2005, focusing on the development of Linux and F/OSS skills. APC-Africa-Women has a lengthy list of resources discussing strategies for increasing the participation and importance of women in information and communication technology industries in Africa and worldwide.

Bookmark and Share


Wow! That's really an awesome program!

Posted by: Narnia Nerd on 15 Feb 06

Well done Chix. There is nothing as powerful as collaborating and sharing information - especially in this filed of ICT's that is dynamic. The mentoring of the young women is to me the most important because they are the future.

Posted by: Nodumo on 18 Feb 06



MESSAGE (optional):

Search Worldchanging

Worldchanging Newsletter Get good news for a change —
Click here to sign up!


Website Design by Eben Design | Logo Design by Egg Hosting | Hosted by Amazon AWS | Problems with the site? Send email to tech /at/
Architecture for Humanity - all rights reserved except where otherwise indicated.

Find_us_on_facebook_badge.gif twitter-logo.jpg