East Africa’s technology hub, Kenya has won the bid to host the sixth international open data conference (IODC) in2020. The event which was finalized this year in Buenos Aires, Argentina made the reveal at the close of the ceremony. Kenya will be the first country to host the event in Africa.
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This year’s theme was “The Future is Open”, a gathering that hosts champions in open data at the government. In civil society, academia, and innovators. Together they share, learn and collaborate on technologies new tactics tools and platforms to make data more open and accessible to concerned parties. This availability will facilitate support for development projects.
The event website describes the gathering as an event that brings the global open data community together. In order to learn, share, plan and collaborate on the future of open data. The uniqueness of this event is that it brings together of different nationalities to one locale, to define strategies to advance open data on both a global and local scale. The startup community is growing, with large numbers diving into technology as a means to make a social and economic impact on both a local and global scale.
In recent past, there have been a significant number of successful startups that were conceived and birthed in the capital Nairobi. Making the capital, the next best place to hold the technological conference. This year IODC was organized by the world bank, government of Argentina, the international development research center, open data for development and Google, among other sponsors.
The theme for the International open data conference to be held in Nairobi will be ‘Bridging Data Communities”. The conference is expected to attract over 3000 participants from several countries around the globe. In attendance will also be 50 international tech companies who will be expected to participate in the event. The event itself is bi-annual, and Kenya has now been entrusted with the next conference.
Remarks from the Kenyan Deputy President have welcomed the opportunity to close the gap with technology for better development decision making policies. Stating that the president and the government are committed to creating an inclusive ecosystem with development partners to tackle various aspects of development in the country. Key players include the private sector, academia, civil society, and local communities as instrumental partners for improved change.
He also mentioned that the country is deliberately pursuing a collaboration to the effects of rational, economic and political choice. Legal advisor and head of policy to the office of the deputy president Korir Sing’oei added saying “We are humbled and honored to be entrusted with the next international open data conference” reiterating the deputy president’s sentiments of the opportunity it has opened up not only for Kenya but the African continent as well.
The country is looking to solve age-old problems through the use of technology, which will be facilitated by the conference being hosted in Kenya. It is indeed a sign that Africa is ready to play a leading role in data communities to bridge the gap in local communities and economies to deliver the benefits of data. The goal is to bring tech companies and innovators together to create and explore solutions and new innovations, with the hope of investing some of their new methodologies on the continent.
The same year the country will host the IODC marks the year 2020, for Kenya’s vision of sustainable development goals (SDG). Not to mention the Paris climate agreement (Paris21), that America notoriously pulled out of last year. IN the same year, Africa will mark its 5TH anniversary of the Africa agenda for2063 and 25 years since the Beijing platform for action (BPfA) was initiated. Clearly, there will be much excitement and several forums, agendas, and events to mark and be held on that year. Both for Kenya and the African continent.
Such events show the potential of African countries and the importance of inclusion in digital advancements.