ASSAf – through the African Open Science Platform project – during 19 to 21 February 2018, participated in a workshop and conference which was organized and funded with the help of the German Cooperation (implemented by GIZ Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, the Ethiopian Education Strategy Center, EthERNet and the Ethiopian Ministry of Education.
Through many investments over the years, African countries have made great progress in managing its research in a digital way, aligning it with international standards. Ethiopia is no different, and research intensive institutions in Ethiopia have made great progress in setting up repositories, making sure that research output funded with public money will be accessible for the unforeseeable future. The 4-day workshop and conference addressed the implementation of persistent identifiers for digital objects (incl. DOIs and ORCID IDs), experiences from across the globe (Ireland, Austria, South Africa and Italy), addressing possible challenges, and also aligning existing repositories for harvesting through NADRE, the national harvester. All African institutional repositories are also encouraged to align with the requirements for inclusion by the continental harvester developed by the Association of African Universities (AAU), known as DATAD-R. In the end, researchers will not only be able to search for high quality Ethiopian research from a central access point (NADRE), but also search for high quality African research through a central access point for African research (DATAD-R).
Africa has come a long way, and the African Open Science Platform is looking forward to – in addition to literature based institutional repositories – also promote the implementation and management of high quality open data repositories. The need to address open science policy on national level in Ethiopia offers a great opportunity to further advance sharing and curating research/scientific data, part of what the African Open Science Platform project advocates for.