From the national forum attended in Botswana 30 – 31 October 2017, it was clear that the country shares the same challenges as other African countries in terms of open science (incl. open data) policy, utilising and adapting the current ICT infrastructure/fibre connections to allow for the transmission of data sets to advance science, and building capacity – not only in terms of plans to manage research data on individual researcher/project level, but also in terms of soft skills to properly manage and re-use data. Botswana Statistics (focusing on government data) is one of the success stories which was shared. The presence of high-level key stakeholders demonstrated commitment from government level. The general experience was positive, with Botswana colleagues adamant to not only start doing African science in an African way, but also to do Botswana science the Botswana away – steering away from benchmarking with countries they have very little in common, at the same time, implementing international best practice. This coordinated effort brought together stakeholders from all over Botswana.
The Botswana ODOS National Committee has indicated that actions from this workshop will include the following:
- Addressing policy and infrastructure needs;
- Adaptation of the ODOS mandate by key stakeholders;
- Capacity building, training people on institutional and community level;
- Finding innovative uses of data; and
- Engaging citizens.