Open Movements in Africa
As Abel Asrat, the WikiAfrica Wikipedian in Residence from Ethiopia, explains it,
“[The Open Movement] can be a platform that allows people to access content and materials openly or it can be a social gathering and movement toward knowledge-and experience-sharing.”
Across Africa, several organisations are keen to allow people to have access to knowledge, freely and openly. At the #OpenAfrica14 training course that happened at the Africa Centre offices in Cape Town, the participating Wikipedians in Residence – Erina, Abel, Cyriac and Michael – presented an outline of the Open Movement landscape in their respective countries.
In Ethiopia, the eLearning Ethiopian social network was established with the aim of introducing eLearning technology and methods to Ethiopian Universities and TVET ( Technical Vocational Education and Training) colleges in 2009. Meanwhile, the Temari Net (which means Student Net) was built targeting university students. Social gathering events like TedxAddis and Barcamp Ethiopia, are also attracting a large crowd keen to network, connect and share ideas. Abel tells us more.
Malawi Library Information Consortium (MALICO), SchoolNet Malawi, and The White Spaces project are some of the Information Communication Technology initiatives and projects in Malawi. With regards to Open Access initiatives, the Malawi National Digital Repository, National Archives of Malawi, and National Library Service – Mobile Library Services, are helping to shed light on historic information in Malawi, whilst simultaneously increasing literacy rates in the country. Michael explains more of these initiatives on Wiki Malawi.
The Uganda Bureau of Statistics is also a player in the Open Movement through the provision of data that is free from bias. It also has a resource centre that is open to the public. Mapping Day is an open data initiative in Uganda, whose partners include Mountbatten, an ICT company, and the Fruits of Thought, a collection of projects. Mapping Day organises mapping events and much more that contribute to Open Movements such as OpenStreetMap. Learn more about Open Movements in Uganda.
The establishment of the Ghana Open Data Initiative is meant to promote efficiency, transparency and accountability in governance as well as to facilitate economic growth by means of creating mobile and web applications for the Ghanaian and world markets. To build a network of Ghanaian doers, entrepreneurs and changemakers, Barcamp Ghana, a project of the Ghana Think Foundation, is making fast progress with this goal and has already organised more than 25 similar Barcamp events. The Ghana-India Kofi Annan Centre of Excellence in ICT and Tech Needs Girls initiative by Soronko Solutions are some of the Open initiatives and movements in Ghana.