March 15, 2023 | Accra, Ghana

Read the recap blog post of this event:

Open infrastructure has huge potential to facilitate innovation, advance science and research, and help bridge inequities in society. First, it can accelerate innovation by increasing the accessibility of technologies and resources and facilitating the cross-pollination of ideas. Secondly, it can advance scientific research by enabling collaboration and knowledge sharing among researchers, leading to the acceleration of scientific discoveries. Furthermore, it can enhance education by providing educators and students with access to shared resources, educational materials, and collaborative tools, ultimately leading to improved learning outcomes.

In Africa, the adoption of open infrastructure has been increasing gradually over the past few years thanks to the efforts of national research and education networks (NRENs), library associations as well as academia. However, despite the increased uptake of open infrastructure in Africa, the lack of diversity in funding sources poses a great threat to the sustainability of open infrastructure initiatives on the continent.

To dive deeper into how funding sustainability and diversity for open infrastructure can be enhanced in Africa, IOI and WACREN are partnering to co-host a workshop titled,” Charting common pathways for collective action in advancing open infrastructure in Africa.” The workshop will be held at the Marriott Hotel in Accra, Ghana on March 15, 2023, from 2:00 pm to 6:30 pm.

This invite-only session will bring together key open infrastructure providers, funders, and intermediaries both from Africa and beyond to discuss challenges hindering the adoption of open infrastructure and the opportunities that can be leveraged through collective action to further the adoption and development of open infrastructure that centers the needs of the African community.

The workshop aims at achieving the following objectives:

  • Understanding open infrastructure and its value in the African context
  • Exploring a common framework to solve the funding challenge for open infrastructure initiatives
  • Explore opportunities for NRENs to adopt open infrastructure for scholarly communication in Africa

This meeting is a prelude to the WACREN 2023 Conference on 16-17 March 2023 in Accra, Ghana.

Meeting schedule

2:00 pm Welcome and introduction
2:15 pm Panel discussion
3:30 pm Coffee break
4:00 pm Breakout discussions
5:30 pm Recap from discussions and closing remarks

This session is followed by the welcome reception for the WACREN 2023 Conference with all conference delegates.

If you are interested in joining us at this workshop, please email us at contact [at] investinopen [dot] org to inquire about an invitation.

IOI’s Engagement in Africa

This event is IOI’s first foray into the African continent and we are committed to deepening our engagement in the African continent in the coming years. Since the inception of IOI in 2020, our work has largely focused on open infrastructure in Europe and North America. However, as part of our desire to more meaningfully engage with open infrastructure communities in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, we are planning on deepening our research in these regions in 2023 going forward.

In parallel to organizing this workshop, we are currently conducting exploratory research to better understand the initiatives, people, and issues involved in scholarly infrastructure in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. This will allow us to identify existing resourcing needs in terms of community governance, financial, technological, and organizational capacity in current and emerging open infrastructure services aimed at supporting the scientific and scholarly community in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

Posted by Emmy Tsang & Jerry Sellanga