Open Source Initiatives in Zimbabwe

PyCon ZA 2016

Presented by Anna Makarudze on Oct. 7, 2016

Zimbabwean companies and individuals have been consumers of open source software for over
a decade now. Nevertheless, developers in Zimbabwe have done little in terms of developing
an active and vibrant open source community until 2015 which saw the establishment of
PyZim. This is because affiliation to professional bodies is not heavily emphasized in most
industries, especially the ICT industry. The economic challenges facing the country for the past
two decades have also made affiliation to such organisations a luxury as the country has over
90% unemployment rate.

Given this background, it is no surprise that setting up a vibrant Python user group has been
fraught with many challenges. In my talk, I intent to share the journey we have travelled in
setting up PyZim. I will also share our experiences organising Django Girls workshops and
PyCon Zimbabwe 2016. I will also share with the audience the challenges faced, opportunities
arising, benefits accrued and important lessons learnt through the experiences. The main aim
of my talk is to encourage other developers to become contributors to the advancement of open
source software initiatives in Africa.

Slides available here: