Category Archives: South Africa

African Open Science December 2017 Activities

Just a very brief recap of our events during the past week, to keep you posted and in the loop.

Landscape Survey of Research and/or Data Intensive Initiatives on the African Continent, and Key Stakeholders
The past year (AOSP Year 1, from 1 November 2016 – 31 October 2017) focused on identifying research and/or data intensive initiatives on the African continent, and building a database around it. View a data visualisation of progress made by clicking here. The data is by far not complete, and we hope to add many more activities/projects/initiatives. We are also working in the background unpacking certain initiatives, and cleaning data to be included.

For corrections or to suggest an African initiative, please complete the two fields on the online form – click here.

Tanzania Data Tamasha (Festival)
Zaituni Kaijage wrote in an email that the Tanzania Data Tamasha (6 Dec. 2017) was a highly successful event, with more than 200 participants attending and participating. Also view the booklet which contains all the success stories presented during the event. Thank you to Raymond Katebaka, General Secretary of the African Union of Conservationists (AUC) (based in Uganda) for representing AOSP on very short notice during the Tanzania Data Tamasha. The feedback received from Raymond of great value in steering our thinking regarding the project.

If you have any activities planned in your country, please share with us so we can create more awareness, and also add to the AOSP web for further visibility. You are also welcome to write a brief news item.

SA-EU Open Science Policy Framework Workshop, 30 Nov – 1 Dec 2017
The DST (SA Dept. of Science and Technology) in partnership with the European Union (EU) hosted a successful two day workshop towards an Open Science Policy Framework for South Africa. This workshop followed the Open Research South Africa: high-level stakeholder meeting on Open Research, 12-13 December 2016. An expert task team has been appointed to come up with an SA Open Science Policy framework, and they will be supported by the steering committee.

View the presentations from this workshop:

Different approaches apply to different countries, and we are looking forward to learn more about your plans and progress.

2017 CHPC Annual National Meeting
The 2017 CHPC Annual National Meeting presented another opportunity for AOSP to share its thinking in terms of incentives, motivating researchers to share their data on an open platform.

AOSP is also working on populating the events web page (we have a long list in the process of being added), to create better awareness of open science/open data/open research related conferences/meetings on the continent. Please regularly visit this page and see how you can participate and contribute. The IDW 2018 to be hosted by Botswana a very important event, and we hope to see you all there next year!

Science Talk during SFSA 2017
A high energy 30 min. discussion on incentives, policy, infrastructure and capacity building allowed researchers to give input during group discussions. Each attendee was given a map of Africa, with a real-life problem role-played by members of our Technical Advisory Board, to address. Thank you all for making this high impact, very brief interactive exercise, a huge success! The Future of Science session further evoked a lot of lively much needed debate. Both Prof Geoffrey Boulton (President CODATA) and Dr Heide Hackmann (Executive Director International Council for Science) presented during this session.

AOSP Advisory Council & Technical Advisory Board Meetings
The above meetings took place on 6 Dec. 2017 at the ASSAf offices. Thank you to all members for valuable input and advise in steering this incredibly exciting project! We are thankful for your buy-in and valuable contributions. A special thank you to the chair of the Advisory Council, Prof Khotso Mokhele, and the chair of the Technical Advisory Board, Prof Joseph Muliaro Wafula. Dr Simon Hodson (Executive Director CODATA) has been playing and incredible role in directing and advising the project, and we cannot thank him enough. Thank you also to Prof Geoffrey Boulton (President CODATA) and Dr Heide Hackmann (Executive Director International Council for Science) for joining us during the two meetings, and for your valuable input and steering the project towards an even higher level.

Thank you
Lastly – thank you to you as members of this list for your continued support. Thank you to our funder (DST through NRF) for financial support, as well as other funders – directly (RDA) or indirectly (AAU, UbuntuNetConnect 2017). Many thanks to DIRISA for hosting the web page. And thank you to key stakeholders for their continued support, of which there are too many to name. Apologies if we have left out names, but this thank you to all. This was an incredible year, and each of you played a role in making it a success. Thank you!

More about the initiatives and activities to be shared in January, once we are all back and had the opportunity to discuss among ourselves and include it as part of the project plan.

Wishing all a peaceful and relaxed December/January, and if all goes well, we plan to be in touch again next year.

SFSA Side-event Report & Presentation on AOSP

The report from the side event hosted in South Africa during the SA Science Forum is now online available. Also access the presentation by Susan Veldsman on: Breaking new ground: the African Open Science Platform (Role of Science and Meteorology in Sustainable Development, Lusaka, Zambia, 14-16 March 2017).

The AOSP Offices are currently working on populating the project plan, and building the database of African contacts. Following this, we hope to identify key contact persons on national level to work with us in collecting information and putting us in touch with data intensive research initiatives, along with the survey we have shared previously.

Inquiries: or

Africa-CODATA Collaboration on Open Science in Africa and in South Africa

The Science International Accord on Open Data in a Big Data World was launched at the Science Forum South Africa (SFSA) in December 2015.  It was fitting that the next edition of SFSA should see the launch of an African Open Science Platform initiatative that seeks to put into practice the principles and enabling practices for Open Data and Open Science that are laid out in the Accord.

The Africa-wide initiative will promote the development and coordination of data policies, data training and data infrastructure.  An open science platform is conceived as an integrated set of arrangements that provides a policy, capacity-building and infrastructural framework for enhanced accessibility and impact. The initiative also focuses on the creation of national Open Science fora through which policies and coordination can be discussed and established.

The pilot phase is supported by the South African Department of Science and Technology (DST), funded by the National Research Foundation (NRF), directed by CODATA, the Committee on Data of the International Council for Science (ICSU) and implemented by the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf).

The African Open Science Platform initiative was announced by the Minister of Science and Technology, Mrs. Naledi Pandor, at the Science Forum South Africa 2016 (SFSA).

Minister Pandor commented: “The creation of the African Open Science Platform is an excellent example of the tangible impact our Science Forum has already achieved in harnessing international partnerships to advance African science.  The Platform will play a critical role to assist African countries in developing the necessary capacities to manage and exploit scientific data for the benefit of society.  I am proud that our Department, and its entities the NRF and ASSAf, are contributing to this crucial mission.”

Read the full press release.

ASSAf and CODATA organised a side-event workshop and a parallel session at Science Forum South Africa.  The programmes for these events are linked below.

Additionally, CODATA has assisted our colleagues at ASSAf on the preparations of a workshop intended to prepare recommendations towards the preparation of a White Paper on Open Research in South Africa.

These are major developments and indicative of the determination of African countries, research institutions and scientists to embrace the benefits of the digital revolution and open approaches to research.


Updated CODATA Prospectus: Strategy and Achievement, 2015-2016:

Legal Interoperability of Research Data: Principles and Implementation Guidelines


Dr Simon Hodson | Executive Director CODATA |

E-Mail: | Twitter: @simonhodson99 | Skype: simonhodson99
Tel (Office): +33 1 45 25 04 96 | Tel (Cell): +33 6 86 30 42 59

CODATA (Committee on Data of the International Council for Science), 5 rue Auguste Vacquerie, 75016 Paris, FRANCE