The Botswana Innovation Hub (BIH) and the national government have agreed to conduct a diagnostic study to assess the viability of implementing of an open data programme in the country.
Numerous African countries have implemented open data initiatives, including Nigeria andKenya, as well as the African Development Bank (AfDB), which launched a platform that includes information from 20 states across the continent.
The Botswanan study will be conducted in partnership with the World Bank and Partnership for Open Data.
“The assessment will include an Action Plan, which will provide recommendations on utilising Open Data to stimulate business innovation and new business creation, especially in the ICT and small business sectors,” BIH said.
The study, entitled the Open Data Readiness Assessment (ODRA), will consist of interviews with key stakeholders in government and the provide sector and will cover eight pillars of leadership, including: law, government institutions, management of data, demand for data, capabilities of business and civil society, finance and national IT infrastructure.
Open data initiatives release raw, machine-readable data that is useful to others, including non-sensitive information gathered by governments during the course of their operations.
According to management consulting firm McKinsey and Company, open data is a US$3 trillion industry, with the number of United States (US)-based companies working on open data increasing from 45 in 2010 to 2,000 in 2014.