February 25th 2018

Top Stories / National

Nairobi hosts conference on big data role in transforming Africa's agriculture

Kenya is a fitting host for the conference, representing Africa, which as a continent has huge potential for Agricultural growth due to its abundance of Land and Water Resource. Agriculture employs 65 percent of the labour force and accounts for 32 percent of Africa’s total GDP.

By Lucy Mwihakilmwihaki@kenyafreepress.comWednesday, 14 Jun 2017 16:55 EAT

The Global Open Data for Agriculture & Nutrition (GODAN) initiative, launched in 2013 and led by the UK and US governments to propagate for open data in agriculture and nutrition to scientifically combat world hunger and food security, is the co-host of the Ministerial Conference on Global Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition in Nairobi from June 14-16.

The conference will be held along with the 4th Agritec Africa Exhibition at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre, with the Government of Kenya and Radeecal Communications being the main organisers.

The Conference will be attended by 1,000 high level participants, led by Ministers for Agriculture from 100 countries, private sector, academia, think-tanks, civil society, youth organisations, research networks and development practitioners, the United Nations and multilateral institutions especially the African Development Bank (AfDB), UN Economic Commissions for Africa, Asia and Latin America, the African Union Commission, Africa’s Regional Economic Communities (RECs) and international organisations.

It is touted as the world's largest event to convene business leaders, governments from several G77 nations and at large the Global South, for the singular and unified cause of technologically and scientifically revolutionising agriculture through sharing of vital data which are currently hidden or inaccessible.

Kenya is a fitting host for the conference, representing Africa, which as a continent has huge potential for Agricultural growth due to its abundance of Land and Water Resource. In Africa, the Agriculture sector employs 65 per cent of the labour force with the sector accounting for 32 per cent of Africa’s total GDP.

The Conference comes as a result of a commitment made by Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, Mr Willy Bett at the GODAN Summit in 2016. During the Summit the Cabinet Secretary accepted a call by GODAN to champion the principles of collaboration and use of open data for agriculture and nutrition within G77 nations and its support for the Comprehensive Agreement on Agriculture and Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) inAfrica.                                                                                                           

Core areas the conference will therefore focus on “Catalysing Agricultural Transformation for Inclusive Growth” under the theme “Harnessing the demographic dividend through investment in food and nutrition data.” 

The Conference program will include high level panels on concrete proposals and actions by government that will catalyse agricultural transformation. It will also look to improve Data Coordination across the agricultural value chains and ecosystems, Agricultural Productivity, the Capacity for production, analysis and use of data and Financing for Smallholders.

André Laperrière, CEO, GODAN will participate in the official opening, focusing on issues of food security and food price volatility and the role of data. He will be joined by Ms Annie Nyagah, Youth Rep., AfDB – President, Willy Bett, the cabinet Sscretary, and President Uhuru Kenyatta.

André will also participate in the closing session, alongside Ms Susan Imende, MoALF/Kenya Fisheries Service, and H.E Hon William S Ruto, Deputy President, Republic of Kenya to present the outcomes of the conference.


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