Governments around the world are turning to open source software, including 2 821 public sector web sites that now use the Joomla! content management system.

With a claimed 2,7% of the Web running on Joomla! Software, the open source content management system has become a major force in web development, particularly within the government sector. In South Africa, 19 government web sites use the technology. The figure rises to 74 across the southern African region, with the continent as a whole boasting 281 Joomla! web sites.

“Joomla! has built up a dedicated following across the world and in South Africa because it is so effective and easy to use,” says Walter Penfold, MD of Prefix Technologies, whose pMailer product was a sponsor of the recent Joomla! Day held in Cape Town.

“More than 90 people attended the event, which gives some idea of the strength of this community locally, and the growing role Joomla! is playing in Web development in South Africa.”

Delegates at the conference heard a range of speakers, both local and international. Among the luminaries were Andrew Eddie, a co-founder of Joomla!, who spoke via Skype from Australia; Brian Teeman, also a co-founder of Joomla! and its parent organisation Open Source Matters; Louis Landry, a long-time core contributor to the Joomla! Project; and Ryan Ozimek, the CEO and founder of PICnet, a Web development and innovations firm providing a variety of services for non-profit and public sector organizations worldwide, and president of Open Source Matters.