My open source story: Mawusee Komla Foli-Awli

Student's open source project takes him around the world

Student's open source project takes him around the world
Image credits : 

I discovered open source software while I was a student at the University of Lomé in Togo in 2004. From that very first day, I was in love with the philosophy and knew this would be a big part of my life.

I joined the National Open Source Users Association (ATULL) and became an active member. Then, as a student, I created an open source web application for the managing of college activities, and it won 3rd place at the African Conference on Open Source Software in Morocco in 2007. Thanks to the award, I got a first class ticket from the Francophonie International Organization to attend the Open Source Software World Meeting in 2008.

In 2011, I joined FOSSFA, the Free and Open Source Foundation for Africa, as the Community Empowerment Manager. In this role I managed all of the foundation members and particularly the volunteers of the ICT@INNOVATION project, a training program to show participants how to build a sustainable business using open source software. I did this for a year and a half, and it was amazing to be part of a large, virtual, and bilingual, community. (Someone emailed me once and signed off with the expression "Asante Sana"; I thought this was the person's name so when replied back, I started by saying "Dear Asante Sana." Later I found out that "Asante Sana" means "Thank You" in Swahili!). I met people from Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, Namibia, Tanzania, Germany, Togo, Burkina, Mali, Niger, Senegal, South Africa, Ethiopia, Cameroun, Gambia, Benin, and more.

Today, everytime I have the opportunity to teach, I share open source software tools like LibreOffice, GIMP, Linux, Drupal, Wordpress, PHP, and MySQL.