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The Africa Open Data Network Announced

The Africa Open Data Network Announced

OD4D is pleased to announce that the Local Development Research Institute (LDRI) will be the initial coordinator of the Africa Open Data Network, our OD4D regional node for Africa. The announcement was made during the International Open Data Conference in Madrid following the successful conclusion of a competitive process and open call.  The Local Development Research Institute (LDRI), led by Muchiri Nyaggah, will begin planning the Africa Open Data Network that was inspired by the first African Open Data Conference in 2015.

The announcement followed a meeting of champions of the AODN network held on 4 October 2016, which included representatives from IDRC, World Bank, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, Hivos, dLab, Africa Open Data Conference, Open Data Institute, Open Knowledge International and the Web Foundation. During the meeting, LDRI received a strong endorsement from the multiple stakeholders involved in the selection process. (some quotes below).

The initial champions of the African Open Data Network commit to work together in a number of priorities for the community in the forthcoming years. These priorities include:

  • Increase the awareness of open data Innovation in Africa at all levels, promoting and supporting related initiatives, events and convenings;
  • Link research with advocates, implementers, governments, civil society, communities, and the private sector to increase the effectiveness of research results in informing policy decision making;
  • Collaborate towards policies, and strategies for the inclusion of open data as catalyst and prime component of Agenda 2063 and the Sustainable Development Goals, with strong emphasis on the role of open data in economic rights, benefits, and growth.

In this scoping phase, LDRI will consolidate lessons from on-going open data initiatives in the continent and further explore collaboration with the growing African open data communities. In the forthcoming months, the priority will be to engage with local and regional organizations advancing open data work in Africa. The next key milestone for the development of the Africa Open Data Network will be the World Data Forum in Cape Town in January 2017.

The Africa Open Data Network will act as a hub for the African-led research on open data for development. It builds on similar OD4D initiatives in Latin America, the Caribbean, Asia and East Europe, while addressing the specific opportunities and challenges in the African continent.

Africa is embracing a wide range of data communities and a diverse range of data sources, tools, and innovative technologies, to provide disaggregated data for decision-making, service delivery and citizen engagement; and information for Africa to own its narrative on the data revolution for sustainable development.

The important place that data occupies in the recently adopted Sustainable Development Goals and the keen interest of the African Union to ensure an integrated approach in implementation of both Agenda 2063, and the SDGs, requires a more vibrant data ecosystem and a network of actors and stakeholders ready to rise to the policy, community and industrial development challenges through data.

For more information contact: thinking[at]developlocal[dot]org.

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