Free software, skills and bandwidth are the key anchors of a successful ICT programme, says Ubuntu founder Mark Shuttleworth to the delegates at the ISPA iWeek conference in Midrand. < ?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />
Shuttleworth was speaking during the opening of the conference where he said that no amount of regulation or investment could ever compensate for a lack of local skills. He said that the skills required ranged from pure technology skills through to management skills. Shuttleworth also emphasised repeatedly the importance of free and open source software to development. In the education sector, he said, free and open source software was a key component in developing skills. He cited examples from schools where restricitive proprietary licensing meant schools are only able to afford software to cater for narrow interest groups. In contrast, he said, free and open source software allows schools to provide a full range of software to students that can cater for all skills and interest groups without having to worry about software licences.