BENIN CITY – As the world marked the World Open Data Day celebration, weekend, the Edo State government said it is focusing more on solving the challenges associated with the agricultural sector, using data and technology.
The Managing Director, ICT Agency, Edo State, Yemi Keri disclosed this during the commemoration of the World Open Data Day organized by the Edo State Open Data Unit, in collaboration with the State Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources and the SabiHub.
Keri stated that the state government launched its Open Data portal on September, 2013 with the purpose of promoting the open government initiative of the state.
She said the data was opened to the public for assessment and republish without restriction from copyright, patents/other mechanisms of control.
The ICT Agency M.D. described the state as the first sub-national government to implement such policy in Africa.
She said that since introduced, the ICT agency in Edo State has recorded outstanding achievements, as it was geared towards improving transparency, catalyzing innovations, enabling socio-economic development as well as ensuring a responsible/accountability to the people.
In his remarks, the state Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Hon. Abdul Oroh, stressed the importance of information/communication in agricultural development.
Commissioner Oroh said that with the rising food prices which he said has left over 40 million people wallowing in poverty, there was need for more effective essential interventions towards advancing agriculture.
He pointed out that updated information would provide more knowledge to farmers to enable them cope with such changes as weather patterns and soil conditions.
An ICT expert, Emeka Okoye who talked on Data Wrangling/Data Hack lauded the Edo State government for being the first sub-national government to implement the Open Data portal policy in Africa.
Okoye who harped on the importance of using data wrangling to acquire/broaden knowledge in the form of extracting, processing and storing, advised the state government to ensure that it sustains the open data policy for the purpose of transparency and accountability in governance.
The event featured other lectures on data/innovation, pitching/presentation of ideas as well as hacking procedures and rules/breaking into groups, with a view to promoting/developing entrepreneurial skills through information technology.

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