In 2011, the Kenyan government launched the Kenya Open Data Initiative, making key government data freely available to the public through a single online portal. Kenya Open Data is an initiative designed to make developmental, demographic, statistical and expenditure data available in a useful digital format for researchers, policymakers, ICT developers and the general public.
The data is divided in categories such as agriculture, energy, water, infrastructure, health and governance, among others. Agriculture is central in this project as agricultural and rural development can only be achieved through commonly shared data. This initiative also enables data-driven evidence-based decision-making by parliamentarians, policy-makers and civil society organisations on agricultural and development projects in the nation.
70% of the African population relies on agriculture. For governments and civil society organizations, some of the main challenges include increasing access to credit for farmers or stimulate technological exchange in terms of resilient varieties to make agriculture more productive. These objectives can be achieved through the creation of national open data platforms that can enable all actors to access clear statistical agricultural information.
The Kenya Open Data Portal was renovated in 2015, and today the government is pledging government ministries and agencies to collaborate in improving the dataset in order to make the portal a unique and verified source of information for all.