Supporting Open Data Solutions in Francophone Africa
Despite promising open data initiatives, notably in Côte d’Ivoire and Burkina Faso, African Francophone countries are severely lagging behind in terms of access and use of public data. Countries in Francophone Africa generally fall at the bottom of all open data indexes. In light of this problem, IDRC’s Open Data for Development Network (OD4D) supported the Conférence d’Afrique Francophone des Données Ouvertes (CAFDO) in Burkina Faso in June 2017, which identified specific needs around open data in the region. CAFDO also launched the call to set up a locally-run OD4D hub that will support the use of open data for the development in African Francophone countries. Following a review by an external committee of open data stakeholders, Open Burkina (Initiative pour un Burkina Ouvert) was selected to run the hub.
This project, co-funded by the Hewlett Foundation, will support the first steps towards the creation of an Open Data hub (or “centre”) in Francophone Africa (CAFDO). The hub will strengthen an emerging Francophone open data community in Africa, and support the more effective supply and use of open data through institutional and individual capacity building, networking, policy support, research, and innovation seeding. The hub will also specifically endeavour to harness open data that empowers women to achieve their development goals and facilitate their active participation in decisions affecting their lives.