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EU: Helping Africa 'hack' into Open Science

Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

April 2019
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Tuesday, 18 December 2018

EU: Helping Africa 'hack' into Open Science

An EU-funded project has given African researchers the knowledge and tools they need to develop their own science gateways, web portals and accessible data repositories, helping to make their work more visible around the world. Africa has lagged behind Europe and other parts of the world when it comes to making the most of e-infrastructures, which allow scientists to collaborate and share data. But things are changing as the availability of high-capacity internet networks increases across the continent. The EU-funded SCI-GAIA project delivered a range of support activities to help the African research community set up a variety of e-infrastructures. Through training sessions and the production of educational materials, the project also promoted the practice and value of Open Science, which aims to make research more accessible to fellow scientists and society at large. ‘There are many talented scientists and researchers in Africa who have been missing out on the opportunities presented through Open Science,’ says SCI-GAIA project coordinator Simon J E Taylor from Brunel University London in the United Kingdom. ‘We showed them how to get their data and results off their laptops and onto platforms where they could share knowledge with peers both at home and abroad.’ Thirty-five code developers, educators and computer science specialists – known as SCI-GAIA champions – took part in intensive project training sessions called ‘hackfests’. Hailing from universities and research institutes across Africa, they used the training to develop their own science gateways, open access data repositories or applications. Seven science gateways and five data repositories were created through the hackfests, along with 30 apps hosted on existing portals.

Source: ec.europa.eu