Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Multi-actor platform to advocate for open data in Ghana on the way

Group photo after opening session.
Photo: Justin Chisenga
Participants at the Forum on Open Data, Open Science and Open Access in Agriculture in Ghana have agreed to establish a multi-actor platform to advocate for open data in the country.

Initial ground work on the platform, the Ghana Open Data Alliance, has been done by the National Information Technology Agency (NITA). The Forum provided NITA with an opportunity to bring on board several other stakeholders, including the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Ghana National Association of Farmers and Fishermen (GNAFF), and Farm Radio International, among many others.

The participants also agreed that appropriate open data policy framework, capacity development in data management, and data sharing standards, are key to the success of open data and open science in agriculture in the country.

Presentations and discussions at the Forum highlighted key initiatives on open data and open access in the country, concerns and fears, and the challenges being faced. The presentations included the following:
  • Open Data and Open Science in Agriculture: Global Trends and Major Initiatives – Mr. Justin Chisenga, Capacity Development Officer, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Rome, Italy.
  • Building Capacities for Open Access and Visibility of African Scholarly Work - Experiences from AAU – Ms Nodumo Dhlamini, Director ICT Services & Knowledge Management, Association of African Universities (AAU), Accra.
  • FARA and Open Data & Open Science in Agriculture - Mr. Dady Demby, Knowledge Management Officer, Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA), Accra.
  • Ghana Open Data in Agriculture  – Mr. Eric Akumiah, Project Manager, Ghana Open Data Initiative, National Information Technology Agency (NITA), Accra. 
  • Open Access to Agricultural Research in Ghana - Dr. Joel Sam, Director, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research – Institute for Scientific and Technological Information, Accra.
  • Strengthening the Use of ICT for Agriculture, Rural Development and Wealth Creation - Mr. John Awuku Dziwornu, Vice President, Ghana National Association of Farmers and Fishermen, Asutuare, Ghana. 
  • Social Innovation and Open Data Nexus Critical for Smallholder Empowerment - Mr. Worlali Senyo, Director of Growth, R & D, Farmerline Ltd, Kumasi.
Speaking at the opening session, Dr Victor Kwame Agyeman, Director-General of the country’s Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), indicated that the CSIR was committed to open access and would soon implement an open access policy to improve access to its research.

In is opening address, Dr Abebe Haile-Gabriel, Food and Agriculture
Dr Abebe Haile-Gabriel, FAO Representative
to Ghana.  Photo: Justin Chisenga
Organization Representative to Ghana, emphasized the need for governments to put in place enabling environments favourable to open data sharing, and regulations to enforce common standards for collecting, producing, sharing and using open data to ensure that new data is safely and ethically transformed into public goods.

Participants at the forum came from the following institutions, among others:
  • National Information Technology Agency
  • Ministry of Food and Agriculture
  • Ghana National Association of Farmers and Fishermen
  • Farm Radio International
  • Association of African Universities
  • Forum for Agriculture Research in Africa
  • University of Ghana College for Basic and Applied Sciences
  • CSIR Food Research Institute
  • CSIR Water Research Institute
  • CSIR Institute for Scientific and Technological Information
  • CSIR Science and Technology Policy Research Institute
What remains now is for the participants at the meeting to take the initiative and and establish the platform as soon as possible.

No comments:

Post a Comment