“The challenge for Africa. National science systems worldwide are struggling to adapt to this new paradigm. The alternatives are to do so or risk stagnating in a scientific backwater, isolated from creative streams of social, cultural and economic opportunity. Africa should adapt, but in its own way, and as a leader not a follower, with its own broader, more societally-engaged priorities. It should seize the challenge with boldness and resolution by creating an African Open Science Platform, with the potential to be a powerful lever of social, cultural and scientific vitality and of economic development.
The African Open Science Platform. The Platform’s mission is to put African scientists at the cutting edge of contemporary, data-intensive science as a fundamental resource for a modern society. Its building blocks are:
? a federated hardware, communications and software infrastructure, including policies and enabling practices to support open science in the digital era;
? a network of excellence in open science that supports scientists and other societal actors in accumulating and using modern data resources to maximise scientific, social and economic benefit.
These objectives will be realised through six related strands of activity:
Strand 1: A federated network of computational facilities and services.
Strand 2: Software tools and advice on policies and practices of research data management.
Strand 3: A Data Science and AI Institute at the cutting edge of data analytics.
Strand 4: Priority application programmes: e.g. cities, disease, biosphere, agriculture.
Strand 5: A Network for Education and Skills in data and information.
Strand 6: A Network for Open Science Access and Dialogue.
The document also outlines the proposed governance, membership and management structure of the Platform, the approach to initial funding, immediate priorities and targets for 3-5 year horizons.”