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GODAN strengthens multilateral co-operation in Eastern and Southern Africa

Global Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition (GODAN) has announced an MoU with the Regional Centre for Mapping of Resources for Development (RCMRD) to extend capacity development efforts within countries located across Eastern and Southern Africa

GODAN is the UN, UK and US government supported initiative driving global efforts to tackle food security and to end world hunger by propagating open data policies in agriculture and nutrition across the world.

The partnership, aimed at developing Geo-Information services and ICT products among its Member States, is set to see parties work closely together on geospatial solutions which will enhance African collaboration with both the Secretariat and its extensive Partner Network. They discussed activities including open data sourcing, working groups and publications and research papers, with an aim to better inform the open data policy agenda.

Kenya, South Africa, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sudan, Kenya, Uganda, Sierra Leone, Rwanda and Ghana are part of this 15-country agreement.

GODAN seeks to support global efforts to make agricultural and nutrition-relevant data available, accessible and easy-to-use on a global scale, by building high-level policy, public and private institutional support for open data. Increased data accessibility and access to smart technologies empower farmers and companies - both large and small - throughout the worldwide food production chain to better plan and sustainably execute food production and farming processes, contributing to tackling global issues such as world hunger and environmental sustainability.

Speaking about the initiative, Andre Laperrière said, “Africa has continued to enhance its position as an innovative region, and much of this is due to its developing framework for the gathering, managing, and analysing of data which is instrumental in helping to make smarter, more informed decisions. RCMRD has been at the forefront of this for many years, responsible for many of the open data benefits countries in the initiative have experienced.

This collaboration aims to provide a platform to strengthen multilateral collaboration within the region and will provide an example for the rest of the world to emulate. This is an exciting time for all parties, and we expect to see Africa becoming a hub for technological advancement with the next few years.