Kenya wins bid to host next international open data conference in 2020

01Oct 2018
The Guardian
Kenya wins bid to host next international open data conference in 2020

THE 6th International Open Data Conference (IODC) will be held in Nairobi, Kenya in 2020 marking the first time Africa will host the data meeting.

Deputy President William Ruto.


The announcement was made at the closing ceremony of the 5th IODC 2018 in Buenos Aires, organized by the government of Argentina, the World Bank, IDRC and OD4D with support from Google, amongst others.

Acciording to Kenya’s deputy president William Ruto, the government is committed to the creation of an inclusive data ecosystem involving public and  private sector, academia, civil society, local communities, and development partners to 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," said Ruto in a statement.

The conference theme for 2020 will be ‘Bridging Data Communities’, five years after the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Paris Climate Agreement (PARIS21), and Africa Agenda 2063, as well as 25 years since the Beijing Platform for Action (BPfA).

Open data refers to data that should be freely available to everyone to use and republish as they wish, without restrictions from copyright, patents or other mechanisms of control. The goals of the open data movement are similar to those of other "open" movements such as open source, open hardware, open content, open education, open educational resources, open government, open knowledge, open access, open science, and the open web.

Paradoxically, the growth of the open data movement is paralleled by a rise in intellectual property rights. The philosophy behind open data has been long established, but the term "open data" itself is recent, gaining popularity with the rise of the Internet and World Wide Web, and – especially - with the launch of open-data government initiatives such as, and

One of the most important forms of open data is open government data, which is a form of open data created by ruling government institutions. Open government data's importance is borne from it being a part of citizens' everyday lives, down to the most routine or mundane tasks that are seemingly far removed from government.

Open data may include non-textual material such as maps, genomes, connectomes, chemical compounds, mathematical and scientific formulae, medical data and practice, bioscience and biodiversity. Problems often arise because these are commercially valuable or can be aggregated into works of value.

Access to, or re-use of, the data is controlled by organisations, both public and private. Control may be through access restrictions, licenses, copyright, patents, and charges for access or re-use. Advocates of open data argue that these restrictions are against the common good, and that these data should be made available without restriction or fee.

In addition, it is important that the data are re-usable without requiring further permission, though the types of re-use (such as the creation of derivative works) may be controlled by a license.