Ict@innovation: Free your IT Business in Africa/2

Module 2: African FOSS Business Models: Case Studies edit

Introduction edit

As FOSS becomes more mainstream the variant business models will encompass a business service that is a combination of FOSS and Commercial offerings. This module provides case studies to demonstrate how companies in eight African countries are already profiting from the benefits inherent in FOSS. The map below shows the location of the companies covered.


The case studies give practical advice based on reported experiences of a cross-section of FOSS business enterprises. Furthermore, the studies show that FOSS business models in Africa employ some innovative strategies and do business by combining FOSS products with proprietary software. The knowledge gain and practical exercises at the end of the module are meant to have a “Yes I can do it” effect. Common trends and practical experiences from the case studies are put together to generate a taxonomy of FOSS business models [Module 2.8] which are applicable in the African context.The case studies are also intended to act as a spring board to further understand what communication and business skills and strategies [Modules 3 - 5] we need to develop in order to build a successful FOSS business in Africa. The structured manner of the case studies may serve as a compendium of assignments for FOSS trainers [Module 6].

Learning Objectives edit

  1. To understand the various services and solutions offered by ICT-Based SMEs in Africa.
  2. To know the types of FOSS clientele and how their issues can be addressed in the Africa context.
  3. To see the advantages and challenges FOSS can present to clients and start-up businesses.
  4. To understand barriers of entry into FOSS business in Africa.
  5. To know some profitable service sectors.
  6. To understand the importance of networking with FOSS strategic partners and communities.
  7. To understand what the FOSS business risks are and how to mitigate them.
  8. To identify African companies using FOSS business models in their business.

Authors and Trainers:= Pool of African ict@innovation expert trainers =

Name Module Name
Module 2 African Business Models: Case Studies Celso Timana,

Sulayman K. Sowe,

Shirley Akasreku

More Trainers per country in full Pool of Trainers


Main contributors

Module 2 Sulayman K. Sowe (Facilitator), Celso Timana, Nico Elema, Kim Tucker, Glenn McKnight, Irene Fernández Monsalve

Additional material for Module 2: AFRICAN FOSS BUSINESS MODELS: CASE STUDIES (presentations, tests, evaluation forms, pool of trainers, derived material) is available online at:


Sessions and Timetable edit

The entire content in this module is estimated to be delivered in 2 days, with some variations within the modules. For instructional purpose, the content of this module can be delivered using a combination of lectures and discussion sessions. It is advised that trainers/lecturers should first revise the questions and exercises presented at the end of “Module 2.8”.

9:00 – 10:30 * Introduction to Case Studies

10:30 - 10:45 Coffee Break
10:45 - 12:15 * Review of Case Studies

12:15- 13:30 Lunch
13:30 - 15:00 * Round table discussion
  • Taxonomy of FLOSS Business

15:00 - 15:15 Coffee Break
  • End of Module Evaluation

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