Kenya Wins Bid to Host International Open Data Conference in 2020

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The Government of Kenya has won a bid to host a high-profile business, technology and investment event dubbed the International Open Data Conference (IODC) in 2020.

The 6th edition of the event will be held in Africa for the first time, in Nairobi, Kenya. The Announcement was made at the closing ceremony of the 5th IODC 2018 held in Buenos Aires, Argentina, from September 27th to September 28th, 2018 under the theme “The Future is Open.”

This year’s IODC was organized by the Government of Argentina, the World Bank, IDRC and OD4D with the support of Google, amongst others.

The International Open Data Conference is a bi-annual premier gathering of champions of Open Data from Government, Civil Society, Academia and innovators, among others, to share, learn and collaborate on policies, technologies, tactics, tools and platforms for making data more open, accessible, available and interoperable in support of development priorities.

The IODC exists to accelerate collaboration and increase the impact of open data activities globally, across different workstreams such as; Agriculture, health, education, gender and fiscal transparency. For the last 10 years, the Government of Spain, the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), the World Bank, and the Open Data for Development Network (OD4D) have been the curators of the Conference.

The Government of Kenya won the bid based on the consistency and high-level leadership of its Deputy President, William Ruto, on Open Government and data for development over the last three years.

Setting the stage for this honor, the Deputy President has previously affirmed that he and the President are committed to the creation of an inclusive data ecosystem involving the government, the private sector, academia, civil society, local communities, and development partners that tackle the information aspects of development decision-making.

“We recognize that if Kenya is to move ahead, we must deliberately pursue collaboration between the government, academia, and entrepreneurs. It is no longer an issue of political will, but a matter of rational economic and political choice,” he said.

The theme of the International Open Data Conference in 2020 will be “Bridging Data Communities” a vision that received a resounding endorsement by participants. Also, the year 2020 will mark five years after the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Climate Agreement (PARIS21), as well as the 5th anniversary of the Africa Agenda 2063 and 25 years since the Beijing Platform for Action (BPfA).

The 2020 conference is expected to bring over 3,000 participants to Nairobi from over 100 countries. Additionally, over 50 international tech companies are expected to participate, exhibit and likely invest in Africa’s growing innovation spaces.


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