GUIDO SOHNE: 1973 – 2008

The story of an amazing life ……….

Guido was an amazing person. But most of us, especially his immediate family, only learned about the true extent and nature of his achievements after he passed away about a month ago. Such was his modesty and sense of values, as indeed the many tributes to him have so succinctly underscored.

Early Life

He was born on Wednesday, 23rd May 1973 to William and Genevieve Sohne and christened William Guido but it was by his middle name that everyone came to know him. He had his elementary education at the Christ The King International School in Cantonments and did well enough at the Common Entrance Examination that he was admitted to Achimota School in 1985 on full scholarship as one of the top five entrants.

While in Form 2 the family acquired a computer, an Amstrad PCW8256, which was to launch Guido onto a lifelong journey of adventure and discovery.


Guido Sohne is my Role model.

No nation can produce all the technology that it needs for social progress no matter the level of their civilization. Given this ground, it then follows that the point of view, held by some scholars, that Africa is nothing to write home about when it comes to technological innovation does not hold sway. Guido Sohne dedicated his life to nothing less than transforming Africa and writing software, that remains the great technology hope for Africa, educated Africans agree.

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Ghana: Imani Honours Late Guido Sohne

Accra — At the closing ceremony of its residential seminar (SYPALA 2009) for young students and professionals, IMANI Ghana honoured the late Guido Sohne, a Ghanaian freelance software developer and consultant by christening an award in his name – “Sohne Prize for African Innovation.”

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Out of Africa: a Hacker writes his final code

One of my favorite Africans died the other day in Nairobi. Guido Sohne was a brilliant, if unheralded, software programmer who worked for Microsoft in Kenya.
He was best known as a tireless and passionate advocate for open-source software in Africa. His decision to join Microsoft last year represented a decisive turn for him technically, an attempt to build a bridge between proprietary and open approaches to codewriting. He had long endured the privations of working solo as a programmer in Africa. The new job brought him a measure of stability — and recognition — he long had missed.

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Guido Sohne at WOS3

I had the great pleasure of meeting Guido Sohne, one of the leaders of Ghana’s vibrant software developement scene, at Wizards of OS this past week. We’ve got at least a dozen friends in common, but somehow have managed never to meet in Accra. Maybe that’s what technical conferences are for.

Guido helped found FOSSFA, Africa’s first Free and Open Source foundation… and left the organization when he became skeptical about his colleagues commitment to the movement.

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