Friday, September 4, 2015

Tanzania hosts open data conference



President Jakaya Kikwete

President Jakaya Kikwete 

By The Citizen Reporter

Dar es Salaam. More than 400 representatives from government, academia, private industry, civil society, and international organisations are gathering here to share experiences and best practices to promote the production and utilisation of open data in Africa, and increase its potential development impact on the continent.

President Jakaya Kikwete will deliver a keynote speech on the importance of open data for development in Africa to participants from over 30 countries, the World Bank said in a statement.

The two-day conference has been jointly organised by the government of Tanzania and the World Bank to promote transparency, openness and accountability.

“Open data” is provided without charge and with open access to the public. The data can also be freely used, reused, and redistributed.

Tanzania was the first African country to apply the new Open Data Readiness Assessment methodology in June 2013 and since then, other African countries, including Nigeria, South Africa, Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, Ghana, Burkina Faso, Sierra Leone, Senegal, Morocco, Egypt, Tunisia, and Ethiopia, have also embarked upon their own open data initiatives.

In March 2015, several African countries gathered to sign the Africa Data Consensus to uphold the principles of official statistics as well as openness.

“Building on this momentum, the Africa Open Data conference provides an opportunity for participants to share their practical experience with open data initiatives across African countries, further develop applications for citizen participation, and improve the monitoring of government activities and service delivery. Experts will also share their strategies for open data as a boost to private sector growth, jobs, and innovation,” the World Bank said in the statement.

To support these efforts, a pre-conference program offered workshops and technical training sessions on a variety of topics, including a data skills crash course and an open data master class.

The World Bank, through its Information and Communication Technologies as well as Governance Global Practices, supports countries around the world to harness the potential of open data for reducing poverty and boosting prosperity, as well as meeting the new sustainable development goals to be approved by the United Nations in September 2015.

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