Microsoft: Africa doesn’t need free software

Now this is just stupid:

In response to a question on the role of open source software in Africa, Gerald Ilukwe, the general manager of Microsoft Nigeria, said that cost is not important, even though he admitted that the average annual salary in the West African country is only $160 (£91).

“It’s easy to focus on cost and say how much is a product, but at the end of the day it’s the total impact that’s important. You can give people free software or computers, but they won’t have the expertise to use it,” he said.

Now, this argument — that expertise is only available in the Microsoft world — is just stupid. The whole point of Free software is that you can go as far down the rabbit hole as you want, increasing your expertise, all the way down to learning the source code.

Free software empowers people to use computers in a way that helps them; Microsoft makes people dependent on and subservient to a profit-seeking enterprise.

Pretty straightforward.

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