Kenya Government Launches Open data Portal

Posted on Friday, July 08, 2011, under

I’m sure some of you have already listened to the news or probably caught the wind of the day’s story whereby the Kenya government has launched access to open data for millions of Kenyans among them being web application developers.

You might also have heard that the President of Kenya, Mwai Kibaki was the Guest of Honor. Also in attendance was the Member of Parliament for Gatanga Peter Kenneth, Safaricom’s CEO Bobby Collymore and the Director for Vision 2030 Mugo Kibati. Also notable was how the Executives who include Safaricom’s CEO Bobby Collymore, Mr Mugo Kibati, K24’s Jeff Koinange and Capital Fm’s Chris Kirubi were sharing tweets right from when the former joined the President’s entourage into the Venue (KICC's Tsavo Ballroom).

Open Data
The open data is powered by Socrata which is a company that offers a solid API for governments and developers to maximize data value to the public. The data will be accessible to web users via Right now, there are over 160 datasets including the complete 2009 census, national budget data, nation and county public expenditure data, information on health care and school facilities.

Some of the applications that have taken advantage of the API include-:
Huduma, a citizen initiative (strategy and platform) that enables citizens to amplify their voices in demand for services.
Eduweb, an online portal that enables Kenyans to easily access relevant information on education institutions. Users have access to information on all learning institutions in Kenya and can view different attributes such as education system, number of enrolled students, number of teachers as well as geographical location.
M-Chanjo, a mobile health (mhealth) solution that aims at reducing child mortality by creating awareness on child immunization.

Sound Bytes
‘You will never have issue-based politics without access to government data’- PS, Ministry of Information Bitange Ndemo.

‘We plan to upgrade Primary Schools to digital villages so that once learning for the young ones is over, the grownups can join in and learn a few things’ – Minister for Planning Wycliffe Oparanya.

‘Data is the foundation of improving accountability and governance.’-President Mwai Kibaki

Based on how that day went, my excitement only allows me to so few words but also that finally because we can speak to each other freely through uncensored channels, we can become a better world.