Open Science in Africa and in South Africa


Date: Dec 12, 2016


The Science International Accord on Open Data in a Big Data World was launched at the Science Forum South Africa (SFSA) in December 2015.  It was fitting that the next edition of SFSA should see the launch of an African Open Science Platform intiatiative that seeks to put into practice the principles and enabling practices for Open Data and Open Science that are laid out in the Accord.

The Africa-wide initiative will promote the development and coordination of data policies, data training and data infrastructure.  An open science platform is conceived as an integrated set of arrangements that provides a policy, capacity-building and infrastructural framework for enhanced accessibility and impact. The initiative also focuses on the creation of national Open Science fora through which policies and coordination can be discussed and established.

The pilot phase is supported by the South African Department of Science and Technology (DST), funded by the National Research Foundation (NRF), directed by CODATA, the Committee on Data of the International Council for Science (ICSU) and implemented by the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf).

ASSAf and CODATA organised a side-event workshop and a parallel session at Science Forum South Africa.  The programmes for these events are linked below.

Additionally, CODATA has assisted our colleagues at ASSAf on the preparatons of a workshop intended to prepare recommendatiosn towards the preparation of a White Paper on Open Research in South Africa.

These are major develoopments and indicative of the determination of African countries, research institutions and scientists to embrace the benefits of the digital revolution and open approaches to research.