October 2, 2012

Open Africa Summit – Beyond the Hype

This weekend, leading lights in the global Open Data scene will attend the Open Africa Summit, a “Think/Do” meeting to be held in Zanzibar between October 6 – 9, to help finalise plans for a major new Open Africa initiative.

Organised by the African Media Initiative in partnership with the US State Department and the World Association of Newspapers & News Publishers, the gathering will pull together a select group of 30 of Africa’s most influential ‘change agents’ already working in the ‘open’ ecosystem, and who already have proof-of-concept projects, or the resources to drive such initiatives, or the convening power to sustain initiatives.

The summit will be preceded by a three-day TechCamp that brings together 100 of Africa’s leading ‘makers’ of open data and civic engagement tools, including the 40 finalists in the $1m African News Innovation Challenge.

The summit will be action-oriented, will be guided by “data realism”, and will seek to craft a coherent, collaborative strategy for a better coordinated open African movement. The 1st day will take stock of what “open” means for media, civil society and government. The 2nd day will focus on identifying specific opportunities and committing to concrete plans.

Confirmed participants include senior thought-leaders from both the World Bank and World Bank Institute, US State Department, the Open Government Partnership‘s civil society steering committee representative for Africa, Omidyar Networks, Open Society Foundations, HiVOS, Google, Code4Kenya, Code4Europe, the World Wide Web Foundation, and the Africa Freedom of Information Centre / Open Democracy Advice Center.

Some of these participants include, Rakesh Rajani (Twaweza), Amadou Mahtar Ba (AMI), Edward Anderson (World Bank Open Development Technology Alliance), Martin Tisne (Omidyar Network), Hadeel Ibrahim (Mo Ibrahim Foundation), Janet Haven (Open Society Foundations – Global), James Dean (BBC Media Action), Alex Howard (O’Reilly Media) and Open Institute Trustee, Al Kags. Some of the Government Officials confirmed to attend include Dr. Bitange Ndemo, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Information & Communications in Kenya and Tanzania’s Hon. January Makamba, Deputy Minister of Science, Technology and Communications.


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