Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Oasis WebSoft @ 1

My name is Raindolf Owusu and I am the founder and C.E.O of Oasis WebSoft .I coined the name Oasis which means fertile land in a desert because I felt  it was taking Africa too long to be recognized on the world map as a technological nation besides the fact that we have been branded as an  agricultural continent.WebSoft is self explanatory meaning I will engineer the web to work with software. I launched our official website in the early hours of July 11, 2011, exactly a year ago after spending a month developing the website in Html, CSS, FBML (Facebook mark-up language) and flash. This project got me so excited that I thought of nothing else but the fact that I was going to build major web and software projects.  I have always been a big fan of console programs, so the first softwares that came with the website were raw C++ and Java codes that you had to compile on your machine to see its function. The website looked very simple but filled with great contents ranging from news to free learning PDF’s and a project I called the Anansi (Anansi means spider in Twi dialect) Project.  The aim of this initiative is to help African Developers and internet users understand the concept of computer programming and also to help improve the standards of information technology education and adaptation in the African Setting.
Since I was alone on the project, I decided to use social media to market my software and web projects. I had only 20 fans on facebook and a year later we have a staggering 550 active fans on facebook and almost a thousand followers on twitter. After each passing day I fell more in love with Oasis Websoft and always wanted to build a disruptive technology that will always put Oasis at the top of the web eco-system in Ghana. My first major software was a toolbar that was compatible with all the web browsers from Internet Explorer to Safari. The tool bar had a few downloads but I did not relent. I spent most of my time online learning new technologies and teaching myself programming from open source forums and groups. I have   my own online school that i teach web and software development as my contribution to the larger community and also created a Github account that I usually put my open source codes for contribution, learning and improvement from everyone.
I am strong advocate of free and open source softwares. I realized that proprietary softwares are being entrenched in our society. Companies and the government spend so much money on paying for licenses for these softwares whereas these monies can be used to improve other sectors like education.  These proprietary softwares contain so many bugs and also can easily be attacked by viruses and malicious softwares. I believe that the way forward for advancement in technology is the collaborative use of open source technologies. Africa is on the move, and software and technologies are a powerful tool to boost economic growth and poverty reduction. Free software can help African developers learn faster and better and I am a typical example.
Month after month I played around with a lot of Technologies,API’s ( Google and Wikipedia ) ,linux,drupal core,ubuntu,linux kernel,open suse and I built the following softwares and web apps with the help of open source communities; Findme Search engine, Anansi Browser, Anansi Calcpad and Wikipedia Search Engine.You can look up all these softwares here  I redesigned our official website in a few months time in HTML5,CSS3,Jquery and javascript. I scaled my time between school and Oasis. My sleep was consequently affected by my time schedule. I sleep for only 2 to 4 hours.
Since they say mobile is the future, I delved into mobile app development and built a mobile app that is a social news blog that delivers latest news and information from CNN,TechCrunch and Oasis WebSoft  plus you learn to also code via my you-tube channel..It runs on android and symbian phones and it is available on Nokia OVI Store.
 I am launching the same Anansi app today on our first year anniversary for Windows phone 7 platform and it is currently in the new windows phone market place. I have ported the code to C# from JavaScript.  I am one of the few lucky Africans developers to have my app published into the Windows phone market place.

I launched Anansi Operating system (Linux distro)which is being proclaimed as Africa’s first operating system on the 29th of June and it is less than two weeks old on the internet and it has had over 2186 downloads on my server and the open source community around the world have created a torrent file for the OS  and it has been downloaded more 1577 times making a total of 3763 downloads and still counting. The OS is so far my most successful product.
In just one year we have partnered and work alongside companies like StartsmartGH , Seafire Software ( USA ) , Ghana Association of women entrepreneurs ,Ghana Center for Entrepreneurship, Employment  and Accra International marathon plus many more. Our team has also grown from only me to a team of three including myself, Aaron Nii Adom Nathan and Jeffery Aboagye-Asare
I was awarded in march this year by the Free software and Open Source for Africa ( FOSSFA ) as a Guido Sohne fellow for my continuous use and support for open source technologies like Linux and Drupal and also for having a technological vision for Africa like the late Guido Sohne ( He was one of the best computer programmers from Ghana and one of the founders of FOSSFA )

Although all my apps are free to download, I managed to earn an annual income of $1 dollar. I am positioning my start-up company into a place where we can gain investment to continue to build free apps that are relevant to African. Our softwares are completely free to use. A big thank you to everyone who keeps praying for and supporting us. May God Bless you and your family. If you're using our softwares and feeling generous, consider a donation. All donations are sincerely appreciated. Thanks!