In a pivotal moment at the International Data Week 2023 (IDW 2023) in Salzburg, Austria, a diverse global community of data scientists, researchers, industry leaders, and policymakers witnessed the unveiling of the Africa PID Alliance (APA) by Joy Owango, Executive Director of TCC Africa. This initiative, introduced under the overarching theme of “A Festival of Data,” marked a significant event at IDW 2023, emphasizing the collective commitment to advancing data science, innovation, and collaboration worldwide.
IDW 2023 served as the ideal platform for this announcement, providing an opportunity for visionaries shaping the future of global data science to come together and engage in discussions on the latest advancements, challenges, and opportunities in the dynamic landscape of data. The launch of the Africa PID Alliance (APA) at this prestigious event emphasizes its importance in addressing the pressing need for Persistent Identifiers (PIDs) tailored specifically to the African context.
Digitizing research outputs in Africa has long been a formidable challenge, limiting access to valuable knowledge and obstructing the dissemination of indigenous knowledge, cultural heritage, and patent data. With only 10% of African patents currently accessible globally, it became evident at IDW 2023 that solutions were urgently needed to enhance accessibility and promote equity.
Ms. Owango, in her presentation, shed light on APA’s mission to secure the future of African innovation, indigenous knowledge, and cultural heritage. The Africa PID Alliance aims to provide persistent identifiers for often overlooked areas, such as indigenous knowledge, cultural heritage, and patent data, making this information globally accessible. Through a dedicated infrastructure hosted in Africa, APA seeks to collate and disseminate knowledge, ultimately benefiting African researchers and innovators.
APA’s approach to addressing the challenges posed by the lack of digitization of research outputs is multifaceted. Central to their strategy is the establishment of a robust Digital Object Identifier Container (DOCID) system, proposed as a hybrid digital object identification model. This system serves as a centralized hub connecting diverse digital objects, providing a structured and accessible platform for consolidating information and promoting equity in the dissemination of knowledge. The initiative also places significant emphasis on partnerships and collaborations to ensure seamless integration into the broader scholarly ecosystem.
The launch of the Africa PID Alliance at IDW 2023 signifies a shared commitment to dismantling barriers in global research. As the global community continues to strive for open science, collaboration, and inclusivity, initiatives like APA represent a significant step forward in promoting equity, accessibility, and the preservation of African knowledge and heritage on a global scale. These efforts play a crucial role in addressing disparities within the African scholarly landscape, fostering a more interconnected and inclusive future.
To access Joy Owango’s presentation at IDW 2023, click here: