IDG News Service —
The Mozilla Firefox Internet browser is now available for download in Luganda, Uganda's most widely spoken language.
The translation was completed earlier this month by Makerere University's Faculty of Computing and Information Technology (CIT) in collaboration with Rhodes University, Mozilla Firefox and Translate.org.
"It is available in beta version now, but keep in mind that we are still carrying out quality checks and will be releasing the final complete version at a later date," said Michael Niyitegeka, CIT's head of corporate relations.
The software was created during a two-day marathon exercise that brought together technology and language leaders from Uganda and South Africa.
The aim of the translation was to make Firefox more accessible to non-English speaking Ugandans, and its success is set to give way to translations in other local languages.
Africa's academic community has emphasized the importance of issuing local content and language support in order to reach the rural population, given that the continent is home to hundreds of languages.
"We have got the skills and are now in a position to be able to translate Firefox and other software into other indigenous languages," said Professor Venansius Baryamureeba, CIT dean. "And we will do this because we want to contribute narrowing the so-called digital divide."
Firefox is the first computer program to be translated in Luganda.
The Luganda add-on is compatible only with version 3.0.1 of Firefox.