Kenya a leader in data revolution in Africa

June 28, 2017 (4 weeks ago)
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The focus will be on developing the data infrastructure to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and showing how data partnerships can drive outcomes in different sectors/FILE

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 28 – Kenya is a leader in the data revolution in Africa.

The nation has seen exciting innovations in the civil society, private sector and the government, according to the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development (GPSDD).

“Kenya has been a leader in the data revolution for a while now. There are exciting innovations that have been happening in Kenya; in the civil society, private sector and the government,” noted Dr Claire Melamed, the Chief Executive of GPSDD.

The organisation, through ‘Data for Development in Africa’, #AfData17 initiative, seeks to change the perception that data is niche concern, a side-event for statisticians and technical staff by merging the technical and the political.

“We are here to talk about the importance of bringing together the technical and the political and using all of the technical innovations that are happening in such speed into the political sphere,” added Dr Melamed.

The event organised by GPSDD and co-hosted by Kenya and Sierra Leone, held a media round table today to set pace for the discussions that will be taking place in subsequent days.

“We are here to encourage government to ensure that data is used to change people’s lives. As governments, we are co hosting this event because we understand that with responsible use of data, we can stimulate our economies,” said Mohamed Bangura, who is the Minister of Information and Communications, Sierra Leone.

The media round table will be followed by a gathering, in Nairobi, Kenya on June 29-30, which will feature a number of African countries making significant commitments in the fields of agriculture, civil registration, health and data science capacity.

“We don’t want to be engaged in a talk show. We want this initiative to be transformational. Africa is building impressive momentum in the data revolution and is well positioned to fight disease, hunger, poverty, and social exclusion, using data-led development,” affirmed Bangura.

However, Rosemary Okello, who is the Director, Africa Media Hub Strathmore Business School challenged the GPSDD and the governments involved to build capacity to harness the power of data.

“We have to be prepared on how we are going to receive this power in terms of capacity and systems. How are we going to deal with it?” added Okello.

The high level delegation is in Nairobi to host an event that will be highlighting the importance of data in achieving social, economic and political.

The focus will be on developing the data infrastructure to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and showing how data partnerships can drive outcomes in different sectors.

This event will be co-hosted by the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data, the Governments of Kenya and Sierra Leone, and Safaricom, in collaboration with the African Development Bank, the UN Economic Commission for Africa, and the Governments of Ghana, Senegal, and Tanzania.

Day 1 speakers include William Samoei Ruto, Deputy President of the Republic of Kenya; Victor Bockarie Foh, Vice President of the Republic of Sierra Leone and Amadou BA, Minister of Economy, Finance and Planning of the Republic of Senegal.

Day 2 will reflect on the outcomes and commitments of day one and a featured showcase and networking session will explore tools, technologies, and methodologies to drive data for development in Africa.

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