Delivering the keynote on theme Open Science in Africa – Connecting the Dots, Professor Ramata Bakayoko-Ly, the Permanent Delegate of Côte d’Ivoire to UNESCO, stressed the need for a holistic approach in discussions on policy framework and implementation of open science recommendations as set by the world body. 

Her call has come at a good time as governments and various open science activists across the world are exploring ways to contextualize the implementation of the global recommendations in their local environments.

LIBSENSE – the pan-African programme led by WACREN, has galvanized institutional, national, regional and continental stakeholders of open science to work at developing context-specific approaches for implementing the UNESCO Recommendations.

At the Conference, Prof. Bakayoko-Ly called on governments and international funding bodies to support research and education networks (RENs) like WACREN, ASREN and Ubuntunet Alliance to realize open science efforts in Africa, adding that these RENs play a crucial enabling role in advancing open science.

More than 500 participants spanning a wide range of stakeholders joined the highly-engaging Conference jointly hosted by Université Virtuelle de Côte d’Ivoire and the NREN of Côte d’Ivoire (RITER), both Members of WACREN.

Among the category of participants were government officials, development partners, higher education and research policy/decision-makers and influencers, connectivity and telecom services providers, academicia, network administrators, students and researchers, as well as local and international journalists.