Seychelles' science and technology institute inspires Africa-wide information platform
One of the workshops organised by NISTI in partnership with NEPAD. (Seychelles Nation)
(Seychelles News Agency) - A web platform developed by the National Institute for Science, Technology and Innovation in Seychelles (NISTI) has inspired the creation of a similar one for Africa to provide information from various sectors and countries.
The setting up of the African web platform was the purpose of a consultative four-day meeting held in Seychelles earlier this week by the New Partnership for African Development (NEPAD) and the African Observatory for Science, Technology and Innovation (AOSTI).
Member countries of the two organisations met at the NISTI office at Bel Ombre in the north of Mahe, the main island, to discuss the model and ways to implement the database. The platform will be an accessible repository data platform to help African countries in evidence-based policy and decision-making. It is expected to be launched by June this year.
NISTI started the local data web-platform in 2016 with the aim of collecting information related to education, research development and innovation but now hopes to cover more sectors.
According to the chief executive of NISTI Xavier Estico, the main aim of the platform is to make the sharing of data easily accessible in the island nation.
“Such a portal will be beneficial for decision-makers, the general public, academia, students, lecturers and school,” said Estico, who recognises that there is a big challenge to get people to share information and work together.
Estico said that in Seychelles currently different sectors have different ways and places for storing their data and giving access to others is difficult as "we don't have a sharing of information agreement in place."
“If we put in place a virtual system, they will not feel obliged to give us their data assets. It will remain with them but can be shared through API’s (application programming interface). The system already exists we only have to develop it,” he said.
The platform will be launched this month and Estico describes Seychelles leadership in the establishment of the platform as a great achievement for the island nation.
Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean, is taking a leadership role in the establishment of the African web platform that will provide all sectors with data that can be used for decision making, policies and research.
Estico said that it is very important to make data available not only for Seychelles but for the whole of Africa.
The executive director of the African Observatory for Science, Technology and Innovation, Philippe Mawoko, said that “with the African web platform our data will no longer remain static.”
“The data will help us to understand not only the performance of national research and innovation systems but the efficiency and effectiveness with which the system performs,” Mawoko said.