Jambo OpenOffice is the Swahili version of OpenOffice.org, a leading international effort to provide a free and open source office suite based on open standards and capable of running on all major computer platforms.
The localization project is a major initiative to provide a full operating system in Swahili. Swahili is the most spoken of the Bantu languages and conservative estimates indicate that is the first language spoken by more than 70 million people, chiefly in Kenya, Tanzania, Congo (Kinshasa), and Uganda. As the chief trade language of East Africa, it is understood by an additional 25 million.
Jambo OpenOffice is the result of the work of a multidisciplinary international team. Among the project members are linguistic experts from the Institute of Swahili Research (TUKI), University of Dar es Salaam Department of Kiswahili, and the National Kiswahili Council (BAKITA), as well as computer scientists from the University of Dar es Salaam Department of Computer Science(DoCS) and numerous dedicated volunteers word wide.
This pioneering effort is funded by the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) and The University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM) and coordinated by the Swedish consultancy company IT+46.
The project does not only aim to localize free and open source software into Swahili, but also to create awareness of the benefits of using and extending free software.