Framaphonie is a project from the Framasoft association, which aims to distribute Framasoft's free products in areas poorly connected to the Internet or digitally disadvantaged.
Framasoft is a French association recognized as a public interest, whose purpose is to promote its free software to the general public. It publishes many websites and offers free products to download or purchase: compilation of free software on DVD or USB keys, books, etc. (visit http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Framasoft).
Unfortunately, physical products (such as USB keys) are expensive or unavailable because of shipping costs to southern countries and downloading, although these are open and free, they require a high-speed internet connection, which is rare and expensive in these countries.
To do this, Framaphonie sees to it that it collects and prioritizes requests for institutions in countries with poor connections, then ships the items requested.
The Framaphonie project aims to address one simple goal: bridging the digital divide in accessing free resources between areas equipped with high-speed connections with those that do not.
To do this, visit the Framasoft/Framaphonie website at http://framaphonie.org to place orders, and for shipping products visit the online store at http://enventelibre.org.
To better understand the interest of offering free software in developing countries, we must look at some of the arguments made from the article by Bernard LANG "La bataille du logiciel libre" (http://aspd.revues.org / 587)
"For developing countries, offering free software has many advantages. Economically, it enables substantial economies to save in hard currency on licensing costs and services, by not having to spend on products that were previously imported. This promotes technological independence and economic development through the creation of a local industry that provides services for the needs of the country.
More generally, the availability of source codes is an educational resource that develops technical skills at the same level as the rest of the world. Finally, this equal access and training allows technicians and local developers to integrate into the global technology fabric and contribute.
In addition, the software is essential and will be the vehicle of communication, knowledge and culture. It would be fortunate for all countries to have access to these intangible resources - to use them freely, independently, by altering the natural flexibility of immaterial creations to suit their needs and their own genius. This is free software for media and IT support. This also, in a more general way, is what allows "free content", that is to say, the intellectual resources - artistic, educational, scientific or technical - left by their creators for everyone to use for free. Software and free content promote a natural cooperation between equals, independence and cultural diversity - integration without alienation.
Even if the Framaphonie project is primarily aimed at Africa, all of the francophone areas, which have a poor internet connection may be addressed (Asia, among others).