2008-09 Joomla! Community Magazine
Joomla! Community Magazine - Community
International: Cape Verde - e-Governance, Society and Joomla!
Putting Joomla! to good use around the world
The Joomla! Project is currently carrying out a study to see how accepted and widespread usage is on a worldwide basis over the project's short three year history. We are conducting this study in different ways, measuring how Joomla! usage compare over time, to other open source CMS projects and to some bigger proprietary CMS's.
We are not trying to show how much bigger one free software project is than the other, but rather to gain an appreciation for the acceptance of open source projects, and specifically, Joomla! on a country by country basis. This knowledge can help us see if we have managed to keep pace with technology changes and ease of use. This is also a way to gain better understanding for what the user base looks like and where they are coming from. I can tell already now that the figures have revealed amazing data and we are going to disclose more about the study in a blog later.
Some countries have showed extraordinary acceptance for Joomla and one of those is Cape Verde, a small Archipelago Republic situated in the Atlantic North West of Africa. We were surprised to learn that such small nation was showing so many Joomla! installations when the other projects didn't get many hits.
Cape Verde is formed by ten main islands and about eight islets. The country is a democratic republic, their official language is Portuguese since they are a former Portuguese colony. They have around 500.000 residents and their lack of natural resources. Most of the nation's GDP comes from the service industry like trade, transport and tourism. Cape Verde's economy has grown since the late 1990s, and it is now considered a country of average development and it considered a developing country in economic terms.
When we started to investigate Cape Verde, we found that they had launched an E-governance program called PAGE (Action Plan for Electronic Governance) and that they simultaneous run another project called PESI (Strategic Program for Information Society) and they are using Joomla for they E-governance websites.
- Cape Verde's official government website
- The prime ministers cabinet
- The president of the Cape Verde Republic
- Municipal Council of São Vicente
- Ministry of Labour, Professional Training and Social Solidarity
- Ministry of Health
- University of Cape Verde
- Justice Ministry of Cape Verde
- Stock exchange of Cape Verde
- Customs of Cape Verde
- General Directorate of the Electoral Process
Their E-governance program seems to have come out from Cape Verde's participation the African Initiative for the Information Society and World Summit on the n the Information Society (they refer to several references in the project description: E-Africa initiative, Forum for African Development, UN, OECD, EU and G8 summit).
The manager of the Operational Center of the Information Society (NOSi), Jorge Lopez say that the single model of Cape Verde in the field of electronic governance is to serve as inspiration for many countries and world organizations. He also says that the experience of Cape Verde in the field of electronic governance and the information society has reached an international dimension, and the Archipealago as one of the best.
The program descriptions for PAGE and PESI are very extensive and are a lot to go thorough for to understand what they are doing and accomplishing since this is a bigger part for to modernize their whole society and increase their democracy. For the PESI programme they write:
The culmination of this process is to obtain concrete results for its great challenges of development:
- of greater economic growth and competitiveness;
- of increasing integration in global markets;
- poverty reduction;
- the modernisation of the state, and greater social justice.
The Government websites and the technical IT solutions are carried out by NOSi - Operational Center of the Information Society.
The websites are done with Joomla! 1.0.x and they have made their sites with very little customization and from my understanding they basically use standard installations, custom templates and a few standard 3rd party extensions like Zoom Gallery, Fireboard, DOCman and some other extensions.
Other usage of Joomla! at Cape Verde
During the few years NOSi has worked with Joomla, they must have built up a tremendous knowledge amongst their employees how to build and realize web solutions based on Joomla. We see that the use of Joomla on Cape Verde doesn't end with the Government websites. It looks like that other organisations and companies have adopted Joomla as well for their website solutions.
Here are some examples:
- Radio and Telvision of Cape Verde
- African Party for Independence of Cape Verde
- News Agency of Cape Verde
- Sport Recreation and Cultural Association of Prédo
- Real Estate Company
- Insurance company
- Mobile company
- Tourist operator
- School site
- Portal for Fogo Island
- Cape Verde Portal
A good concluding comes from Jorge Lopes and he says "We want Cape Verde to be also an exporter of knowledge in the area of the information society and new technologies".
It is comforting to see that free, as in liberty software, is helping to empower developing countries with the same technical capabilities as wealthy, industrialized countries.