Jamila Farouk, intern at JA Africa and aspiring Data Scientist recently attended the Africa Open Data Conference (AODC), 2017 in Accra from the 17th to 21st of July. The AODC is a conference that features participants and speakers expert in their field and leading global conversation and action in open data for growth and prosperity. Individuals from all over Africa and the world participated in this year’s conference of which were civil servants, industry executives, researchers, students, innovators, entrepreneurs, farmers, healthcare workers, donors and investors. The core themes for this year’s conference were Health, Agriculture, Energy, Sustainable Development Goals, Extractives Industry, Education and Gender.
Parts of the conference included a site visit to the Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology and breakout sessions carefully selected by each participant. Jamila made the spotlight when she gave a presentation on “Developers In Vogue”, under the theme “Celebrating women and girls in ICT.”
“This experience has been an amazing one for me and especially to the career I want to pursue as a data scientist. It has broadened my perspective and scope as to how open data can be explored and utilized to make Africa and the world a better place to live in.” she said.
The concept of Open Data is key to the success of organizations and the society at large. Simply put, Open Data is about making information freely available for each of us — all of us — to creatively use for the benefit of the entire world, indeed for all humankind.
Open Data isn’t about sensitive documents or personal material or privacy issues. It’s about plain, simple, rich facts and figures, numbers, places and dates waiting to be mined, studied, interpreted, visualized, graphed, presented by fresh minds to tell us more about our organizations and communities and how to improve them. It includes building on information and interpretation, which can help make the world more functional, sustainable and effective.