Saturday, December 29, 2012

#OpenEgypt : Apply Austerity measures on the government first !!

In 2005 Brazil surprised the world when it decided to adopt open source software in its government, ministries , agencies and state run enterprises instead of depending only on Microsoft windows. Not only that but Brazilian diplomats were trying to push for an initiative in the UN that would street the importance of the open source software especially in third world countries. “Our diplomats do not have a clue what the heck is that !!!”

Now in early December 2012 we found out that Egyptian government led by Hisham Kandeel has signed an agreement to buy Microsoft Software for different Egyptian ministries and agencies by nearly US$ 44 million “LE 270 million” !! Yes LE 270 million !! According to the agreement the government will pay them on 4 years. This comes at the same time the government calling for austerity measures and the Central Bank of Egypt issues a Statement saying that our Foreign Reserve has hit rock bottom !!

The Open Source Movement in Egypt “and it is active one” is protesting against the deal. Already they protested last week at the Cabinet HQ against the decision in what can be the first true geek protest in Egypt.

There will be another protest at Cabinet HQ against the decision this Sunday. The Arabic expression Foundation along a number of software companies and developers as well activists have issued a statement calling the government to rethink its decision and adopt open software. You must know that Open source software’s cost including training cost will be less the cost of Microsoft software and training in a way you can not imagine. You got wonderful brains working in the open source community in Egypt

Now some will say why we should go with the Open Source software leaving the legendary Microsoft. Already part of solving this problem is explaining to the people what is the Open Source software in the first place. I believe our Open software developers and activists should launch a media campaign to introduce to the people what is open source. This will help a lot in spreading the message and getting support from the people themselves.


  1. LOL.... oh how funny you are zeinobia. Have you lost all hope in fighting for martyr's rights and making Egypt not an Islamic shithole that you post about open source software lol. You must have achieved everything Egypt deserved to focus on such trivial stuff.

    1. this is quite rightly part of the continuing struggle to chage egypt in a good way. The islamic agenda at its best seeks to fight unjust interest payments, the sinsiter control of the banks and global financial institutions. Combatting unfair economic trade arrangments etc etc This is a small part of that struggle and for that Zeinobia is right to highlight this

  2. It is possible that the Egyptian government is using Microsoft products (instead of open source products) as a foreign relations tactic or to entice Microsoft to open shops/factories/offices in Egypt at some point in the future (thereby employing Egyptian workers).

  3. I like this initiative, although it is VERY hard to be applied in the foreseen future.
    Total cost of ownership in TOO high in Egypt. It is not just re-training!
    You should include the price/time of re-writing all governmental software.

    Anyway, I will join this silent protest, but I don't expect much :)

  4. Zeinobia, you criticize them no matter what they do. If the Kandeel government didn't get the Microsoft suite for its ministries, you would say "how dare they not do that! Do they not know how much Egypt's ministries need to be renovated and updated. Do they want us to stay stuck in the past?" If he does x, you criticize him for not doing y. And if he does y, you criticize him for not doing x.


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