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Kenya Joins Countries with Open Data Platforms

BY Nick Judd | Friday, July 8 2011

Kenya has become the first one of the first African countries to launch an open data portal, releasing over 160 datasets including national budget data, nation and county public expenditure data, and information on health care and school facilities.

Morocco also hosts an open data site. Running on the Socrata platform, the Kenya site was announced yesterday at a press conference. In a pretty thorough roundup of reactions, Alex Howard quotes Kenya ICT board chief executive officer Paul Kukobo:

"I'm most excited about the reaction that people have had," said Kukobo, "particularly at the business level. Tickets for the launch of the website are sold out." He found that he's personally gaining from the change. "I'm learning a lot myself, in terms of what the data is telling me," he said. "You can't be clear about something you can't define. What is going on in my country? Income levels? How many hospitals or schools are there in a county? The development community is excited about building applications so data can be useful to citizens."

The open data site also hosts an index of applications built on the data, which already includes Huduma, an Ushahidi-powered platform for citizens to request services from authorities and service providers around issues like health, infrastructure and education; Msema Kweli, a mobile application to track expenditures on Community Development Fund projects; and Kenya as it appears on the World Bank's Mapping for Results web application, which tracks World Bank-financed projects worldwide.

Howard has more.