The Ministerial Conference on Global Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition, in June 2017, Nairobi
The need for African governments to effectively support the UN Sustainable Development Goal 2 – ending world hunger by 2030.
In June 2017, GODAN convened a strategic partner event, the first ministerial network specifically focusing on open data for agriculture and nutrition: Ministerial Conference on Global Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition, in Nairobi, Kenya.
The event brought together several nations from the G77 to build efforts in Africa and the broader Global South, to ensure every country is producing the data needed to achieve the agriculture and nutrition security related goals in local, continental agendas and the 2030 Agenda.
The outcome was a historic declaration from Kenya and 15 African Ministers from Sudan, Uganda, Ghana, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, the Republic of Congo and South Sudan, who committed to working together towards the development of a fully-fledged open data policy to support agriculture and nutrition. This pan-African collaboration is under the auspices of the African Union and is guided by the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP), an initiative established by the Australian assembly in 2003 which helps support Africa’s policy framework for agricultural transformation, wealth creation, food security and nutrition, economic growth and prosperity, and the Malabo Declaration.
The sixteen article statement from the ministers calls for:
- A data revolution for Africa that improves the quality of statistics for citizens and supports the sustainable development goals.
- Recognition of the important transformative role that open data could have for agriculture, nutrition security and inclusive value chains
Following the initial declaration, the ministers agreed to meet again in late 2018 to take the agenda forward.
At a meeting in March 2018, convened by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), a group of senior ministerial advisors from Kenya, alongside representatives from a number of NGOs, IGOs and the private sector, formed a planning group for this event.
A support mechanism - an Intergovernmental Working Group, hosted by Kenya with the support of the GODAN Secretariat, the FAO, the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) and other development partners - has agreed to build a constituency of stakeholders that share the principles of open data and the data revolution as a driver of agricultural growth and transformation. The aim is to strengthen internal Open Data ecosystems (policy, people, tools, regulations and ICT platforms) on a national level; to produce and release in open standards, timely, accurate and reliable data for Agriculture and Nutrition.
The Government of Kenya is at the same time keen to develop a domestic open data policy with an emphasis on agriculture, nutrition and food security, and has asked GODAN and this broader group for support.