More Open Data in Africa!

Ghana is launching its own Ghana Open Data Initiative (GODI)! It appears Ghana will be the second African country providing an Open Government Data portal, after Kenya.

Ghana has joined the pledge of participating countries as part of the Open Data Partnership to deliver country actions plans for concrete commitment towards Open Government.

Last spring the Web Foundation conducted and published an Open Data feasibility studies for Ghana and Chile. This study showed that Ghana was ready to start its own open data initiative, with government and civil society backing the idea. Partners in this project to get the country on track are the Web Foundation, National Information and Technology Agency (NITA) as well as several cooperating organizations from Ghana.

The eGovernment Network Infrastructure (GovNET) across Ghana’s 10 regions has been completed, providing the framework for Ministries, Departments and Agencies to start data collection and dissemination. GovNET will also spark innovation and development with reuse of this data and catalyse outreach from the start.small_recycle.gif

The Web Foundation will support NITA in 2012-2013 to develop an Open Data strategy for the Government of Ghana taking into account the three types of relevant stakeholders:

  • political
  • public administration
  • civil society

The strategy will also work across the six dimensions of Open Data:

  • political
  • legal
  • organizational
  • technical
  • social
  • economic

It will furthermore include helping to build an Open Data community and the Open Data platform (Web site).

The envisaged result of these efforts is a sustainable Open Data system in Ghana by December 2013 that will also be a useful example for other countries wishing to follow suit.

This is an important development for Open Data in Africa and will certainly trigger more activity in the near future, with more African countries feeling ready to go Open Data!

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