December 14, 2015
BITRI hosted its last seminar for the year entitled “Open Data and its implications for Science and Innovation in Africa” on 8th December at Avani Hotels.
The guest speaker was Dr Daisy Selematsela, Executive Director, Knowledge Management Corporate (KMC) at the National Research Foundation, South Africa. In his opening remarks the Permanent Secretary-MIST applauded BITRI for opening this topic for debate because it would stimulate debate and encourage the sharing of ideas. He said the seminar will enable the participants to catch up with new developments driving the knowledge economy. In her presentation the speaker noted that Open Data or Open Access (OA) stands for unrestricted access and re-use of information.
The speaker highlighted that OA is important to both institutions, citizens and the funding country because it increases the impact of the research in which the country invest public money and encourages accountability and public enrichment. She said this is because much scientific and medical research is paid for with public funds therefore the public need to have return on its investment and to see the results of their investment. The speaker noted that OA allows citizens participation bringing in accelerated discovery. “With open access, researchers and the citizens can read and build on the findings of others without restriction. Through OA teachers and their students have access to the latest research findings throughout the world” she said.
The seminar was well-attended by stakeholders from different disciplines.