Nigeria has opportunity to emerge as a digital powerhouse

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Tuesday, Sep 24th

Open data portal launches for Africa

Open data portal launches for Africa

The Mo Ibrahim foundation has launched the Ibrahim Index of African Governance (IIAG) Data Portal that will open up 15 years of governance data for policy makers, civil societies and governments across Africa.

The portal will give in depth analysis on governance trends across Africa and enable users to generate visualisations that can be shared across the internet. Not only will it be useful for citizens, but journalist in Africa will have both historic as well as up to date data for their news productions.

Mo Ibrahim, Chair of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, said that, "Strengthening the African national statistical offices and the robustness and availability of data is crucial to unlocking the continent's potential. It is a matter of ownership, of identity and of sovereignty. Without sound national data, there is no way you can define adequate public policies nor measure their outcomes."

He said having the portal is less eye-catching than building hospitals or schools, but it is a smart way to help governments deliver these institutions in an efficient way.

Abdalla Hamdok, Chair of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation Advisory Council and Acting Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), hoped that the portal will enable users to produce new and unique findings from the data.

"We hope that the ability to conduct research of this kind will be invaluable to those seeking to identify solutions to the challenges confronting African nations today."

Statistics from the World Wide Web Foundation's Open Data Barometer 2015 paints a gloomy picture for Africa in terms of open data initiatives. Kenya is leading in Africa, but at a global position of 42.

Six of the bottom placed ten countries are from Africa.

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