Guest written by Andre Laperriere, Executive Director of GODAN

From May 16-19 I had the opportunity to represent GODAN at the ICT4D conference in Nairobi, Kenya.

Kenya is one of the leaders in terms of open data in Africa, one of the first to have adopted advanced open data policies designed to make open data available to its citizens, but going beyond, inviting them to use it, develop applications, innovate.

It was therefore no coincidence that the ICT4D conference was held in Nairobi, with this year’s theme being: From innovation to impact.

Meeting with advisors from the Deputy President's office and the Department of Planning and Statistics

During the conference, a wide range of presentations were made from all corners of the world, and all corners of society, with technical presentations such as the Plantwise programme from GODAN partner CABI, to national initiatives such as Open Geo Data from Rwanda, and global questions such as SDGs and innovation for global food security (GODAN).

In addition to this highly successful event, I had the opportunity to meet with various officials from different parts of the Government of Kenya, under the leadership of the country’s Presidency. We discussed open data applications and projects from the statistics side (KNBS), the Ministry of Environment, the Kenya Open Data Initiative, Planning, Agriculture (AFFA) and weather, sections of the Government all relying heavily on data as their main source of knowledge for policy making.

Meeting with the representatives of Kenya's Regional Authorities 

During these discussions we also had the opportunity to explore regional initiatives especially in terms of south-south knowledge sharing and regional training opportunities, as well as piloting some highly technical and innovative concepts designed at reaching the highest level of data integration so far to be achieved in Africa.

These achievements, ideas, projects and energy would not be possible without a clear national direction, leading all sectors of the economy towards one goal: progress.

By making open data available to all, you are creating a unique bond between Government, civil society and private sector, united by the common desire to advance together through participative innovation making.

Bravo Kenya!