Together with the Government of Kenya and 15 African ministers including from South Africa, Congo, Sudan, Kenya, Uganda, Sierra Leone, Rwanda and Ghana, GODAN has agreed to a declaration for comprehensive open data collaboration in the nutrition and agriculture sectors, to combat the global food security crisis.
The Nairobi Declaration (attached below) is historic in that it presents the first time a ministerial level network has been formed which focuses on open data for agriculture and nutrition. The declaration was agreed at theMinisterial Conference on Global Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition on its closing day, alongside the 4th Agritec Africa Exhibition which took place between 14-16th June in Nairobi.
Hosted by the Government of Kenya, GODAN and Radeecal Communications, the conference was touted as the largest event worldwide which convened business leaders and governments from several G77 nations, for the singular and unified cause of technologically and scientifically revolutionising agriculture through sharing of vital data which are currently hidden or inaccessible.
The Conference saw over 800 high level participants attend, led by Ministers for Agriculture from 100 countries, private sector, academia, think-tanks, civil society, youth organisations, research networks and development practitioners, the United Nations and multilateral institutions especially the African Development Bank (AfDB), UN Economic Commissions for Africa, Asia and Latin America, the African Union Commission, Africa’s Regional Economic Communities (RECs) and international organisations.
The ministerial conference was organised as a result of a commitment made by Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, H.E. Mr Willy Bett at the GODAN Summit in 2016 where he accepted a call by GODAN to champion the principles of collaboration and use of open data for agriculture and nutrition within G77 nations and its support for the Comprehensive Agreement on Agriculture and Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) in Africa.
The conference included panels on the topic of making effective use of open data in agriculture such as improving data coordination across agricultural value chains, and had seen key agricultural figures from across Africa participate including Hon. George Boahen Oduro, Deputy Minister of Food and Agriculture, Government of Ghana and Hon. Senzeni Zokwana, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Government of South Africa.
Other highlights at the conference included sessions on investing in agriculture data for growth and development and mobilizing stakeholders to improve the state of nutrition data in the global south.
GODAN is an initiative that launched in 2013 to promote the use of open data for innovation in agriculture and nutrition, towards combatting world hunger and food security.
André Laperrière, Executive Director, GODAN opened the conference on 14th June alongside H.E Minister Bett, praising the shared interests in progressing with sharing and opening data, stating “This common belief, this common determination, this quest for innovation and progress, is what I see in this room today.”
In his closing address, Mr.Laperrière reiterated this, saying: “We saw and heard a true commitment towards transparency, progress and innovation as the way to make this planet a better, safer, more transparent, healthier and better fed for all of us. He spoke highly of the participating Ministers, and of the host H.E. Bett, saying:
“We saw leadership. These were not just words; we are coming out of this important conference with a world first: the first ministerial network specifically focusing on open data for agriculture and nutrition. Best of all, it happened right here in Africa. That is what I call leadership. We also witnessed a clear consensus and true commitment towards transparency, progress and innovation as the way to make this planet a better, safer, more transparent, healthier and better fed for all of us. I sincerely extend my gratitude to Kenya for hosting this event, along with all participating ministers and country representatives, the organisers, partners and all of those who directly and indirectly contributed to make this conference an outstanding success.”
Concluding, Mr.Laperriere said: “Excellencies, colleagues: you dared make this happen, and you succeeded. Now the challenge is with all of us.”
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