The African Open Science Platform appoints three regional nodes

The African Open Science Platform appoints three regional nodes

The National Research Foundation (NRF) of South Africa is pleased to announce the appointment of an initial three regional nodes of the African Open Science Platform. Awards were made following a competitive application process to the Egyptian National Authority for Remote Sensing and Space Sciences (NARSS) for the Northern African Node based in Egypt; the African Institute for Capacity Development (AICAD) for the East African Node based in Kenya, and to the UbuntuNet Alliance for the Southern Africa Node based in Malawi. The appointment will be for a five-year term, starting in June 2023, with additional regional nodes to be appointed to cover all regions of the continent.

Hosted by the NRF since 2020, the AOSP aims to position African scientists at the cutting edge of data intensive science by stimulating interactivity and creating opportunity through the development of efficiencies of scale, building critical mass through shared capacities, and amplifying impact through a commonality of purpose and voice. This prominent initiative is supported by the South African Department of Science and Innovation, the International Science Council, CODATA, the Academy of Science of South Africa, and other prominent regional networks.

The AOSP will also leverage international networks and developments, and the momentum towards operationalisation of the international framework for open science.

The role of the AOSP regional nodes will be to coordinate, create linkages, support, and promote efforts aligned with implementation of Open Science programmes at a regional level, strengthen knowledge networks and infrastructure access, and enhance cooperation between regions and globally in support of the AOSP’s vision. Among others, regional nodes will be expected to lead on programme delivery and implementation, coordination, capacity building, societal engagement in dialogue, and policy support and promotion of the UNESCO Open Science Recommendations at national and regional levels.

The incoming Director of the AOSP, Dr Tshiamo Motsegwa, stated that: “For the Global South, and the African continent specifically, the efficiency and productivity gains from Open Science present a compelling case for government research funding in the context of limited resources and competing priorities for the development of a facilitative and truly African-wide Open Science Diplomacy platform for enhancing continental coordination, collaboration and making global linkages – this to develop an African science system fit for purpose”.

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