The Second Africa Data Revolution Report is launched in Dubai

24 Oct 2018 - 13:00

Professor Jean-Paul Van BelleThe Second Africa Data Revolution Report was launched at the UN World Data Forum in Dubai on 22 October. Professor Jean-Paul Van Belle, from UCT’s Department of Information Systems, was lead author of the report, along with three UCT IS PhD students: Dr Paul Mungai, Hubeidatu Nuhu and Mbongeni Hlabano.

The UN World Data Forum is a platform for intensifying cooperation between various professional groups, such as information technology, geospatial information managers, data scientists, and users, as well as civil society stakeholders.

The 2018 Report delves into the status of, and the recent evolution in Open Data – with the emphasis on Open Government Data – in the African data communities.  It explores key countries across the continent and researched a wide range of initiatives and benefited from global thematic expertise.

Data belongs to the citizen, not to the government

As part of the report's findings, it commended the role of journalism:

The continent’s unsung heroes of the open data impact are the journalists who have used open and other public data to hold corrupt or resource-wasting governments to account, shed light on the plight of disadvantaged communities, given voice to those who could not understand or speak, and promoted peaceful democratic processes by their electoral reports.

World Data Forum

The Forum declared its support for the implementation of the Cape Town Global Action Plan for Sustainable Development Data that was adopted by the UN Statistical Commission in 2017. This plan stresses the need to support fundamental data collection programmes, such as the 2020 population and housing census, and coordination across the statistical system, including better use and integration of administrative data sources.

A brochure with the key findings and recommendations of the second Africa Data Revolution Report is available here.

Video from the Forum is available from

World Data Forum