Downtown Jozi

So I’m in downtown Johannesburg, hanging out in a cafe with wifi with my colleagues from Ungana Afrika, an organization devoted to providing tech support to community organizations and NGOs.

People say the neighborhood where I’m staying, Braamfontein, isn’t the safest, and I’m not exactly in a mood to find out. But the thing that I keep trying to check is how much of that insecurity is based on my own presumptions.

Meetings have been going well. Tomorrow we’ll have our intensive training on LiveSupport for both Ungana and other community radio stations here in South Africa.

As one would expect, Ubuntu and open source software is well-established, at least among the tech/geek/NGO crowd I’m running in these days. The Shuttleworth Foundation and the Go Open Source campaign it’s part of is wide-ranging.

Even in shopping malls, you’ll find a kiosk called the Freedom Toaster, which is basically a place where, if you bring a CD, you can burn copies of Free software (with the big F) like Ubuntu, or Wikipedia, or any of the texts typed in by Project Gutenberg.

Projects like these make a big enough difference in Europe or North America, but here, the impact is immense.

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