I had a delightful conversation with a friend of mine about the state of open source in Sudan, we discussed many topics but the main question was: why open source is not prominent in Sudan?
Software industry in Sudan is not that mature yet, most of what we work on are rather simple crud operations. I feel that we still didn’t reach that point where businesses have worked through complicated business requirements that they decided hey let’s abstract all of that onto packages and modules we could use by other teams in other projects. Abstractions should be reached through natural system’s evolution. There are also economical aspects, we don’t have that luxury in Sudan to be fully dedicated for open source.
It came to my mind two examples when talking about open source in Sudan:
- Kunafa, a web framework built on kotlin https://github.com/narbase/kunafa
- and noebs: an open source payment gateway https://github.com/adonese/noebs
Kunafa aims to replace the rather fragmented web development experience with a unified framework. It is pretty much Django for kotlin. Narbase (the company behind it) is one of well known software houses in Sudan. And they are using it for various projects within their company.
Full disclosure: I’m the author of noebs and also main maintainer. Noebs dates back to 2018, my goal for noebs was to experiment with an API that seamlessly works for all of EBS (the national switch) fragmented APIs. That goal was challenged over the year, but since our first Central Bank of Sudan license approval (2019), all of noebs public apis have not changed!
I would like to highlight our experience with noebs. noebs https://github.com/adonese/noebs is an open source payment gateway. It serves as a nice abstraction layer on top of Sudan’s National Switch System (EBS). Noebs is being used in production for more than 3 years now (the earliest being 2019), and it is still under active development! It has been used by various organizations of different sizes: fintech companies, NGOs, and small to mid enterprises (notes: we failed to make any good impression on Big Corporations, they either don’t understand what an open source is, or it is a big red flag for them.)
I think we need more open source projects, the market does really need that. There are absolutely solid reasons as to why individuals may not find open source that rewarding, funding and finacial aspects being the most important ones. I have started a new venture, and I hope by time things are settled, we would be able to fund individual open source contributors.