Kenya Wins Bid to Host the 6th International Open Data Conference in 2020

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Decision to host the conference in Nairobi is based on the high-level leadership of Deputy President William Ruto, on open government and data for development over the last three years

Kenya has won the bid to host the 6th International Open Data Conference (IODC) in Nairobi, Kenya, in 2020. This is the first time the event will be held in Africa.

The Announcement was made at the closing ceremony of the 5th IODC 2018 held in Buenos Aires, Argentina, last week that was held under the theme “The Future is Open.” The IODC is a bi-annual premier gathering of champions of open data from Government, civil society, academia and innovators to share, learn and collaborate on policies, technologies, tactics, tools and platforms for making data more open, accessible and available to support development projects.

Last week’s conference was organized by the World Bank, Government of Argentina, International Development Research Centre, Open Data for Development, Google and among others.

Speaking at his office yesterday after receiving the baton from his legal advisor Dr Korir Sing’oei, Deputy President William Ruto said, “The President and I 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 tackles the information aspects of development decision making,” Kenya’s Deputy President, Hon William Ruto said.

The theme for the 2020 Nairobi hosted conference will be “Bridging Data Communities” and is expected to bring over 3000 participants to the capital city from over 1000 countries as well as 50 international tech companies are expected to participate in the event.

“This will be an excellent opportunity to share lessons learnt on hosting such an auspicious gathering with Kenya, but most importantly, a practical opportunity to strengthen the South-South collaboration. We look forward to advising and working with the Government of Kenya in the successful hosting of IODC in 2020,” Mr Rudi Borrmann, Undersecretary for Public Innovation and Open Government, Argentina’s Ministry of Modernization noted.

Ruto also recognised that, if Kenya was to move ahead, then there was need to 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” Ruto added.

Sing’oei who received the baton to host #IODC20, on behalf of Kenya in Buenos Aires noted that hosting the conference would be a tremendous opportunity for the African Continent to showcase impact on how it has harnessed the power of data, technology and innovation, to respond to the age-old challenges of our populations.

“With this opportunity to host the next IODC in 2020, we are signaling Africa’s readiness to play a leading role in bridging the different data communities to deliver the benefits of data to our economies and leave no one behind,” Sing’oei said.

Ruto said his office has so far co-founded the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data (GPSDD) with over 400 leading Data Companies and Governments and energised the Global Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition (GODAN).

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