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IST Africa 2014 Conference Report:iMENTORS and open aid data enhances the coherence of international aid

Louis Papaemmanuel, Project Director of iMENTORS, SU, presented iMENTORS at the IST-Africa Conference (06 - 09 May, Mauritius) during Session 8d: eInfrastructures (08 May). IST-Africa 2014 focused on the Role of ICT for Africa's Development and specifically on Applied ICT research in the areas of eHealth, Technology Enhanced Learning and ICT Skills, Digital Libraries, Open Source Software, eInfrastructures, Societal Implications of Technology and eGovernment.

iMENTORS (www.imentors.eu) is an interactive resource, the first of its kind, to contain  information about all known e-infrastructures in Africa in the past five years. Launched for public use and input in July 2013 iMENTORS provides you with the necessary tool to visualise e-infrastructures and all related projects in Africa.

Louis Papaemmanuel explained how using iMENTORS and open aid data enhances the coherence of international aid. Data acquisition and validation will continue to progress until the end of the project. By the end of the project the interactive system will contain at least 80% of all e-infrastructure available in Africa. 

 

iMENTORS, co-funded by the European Commission’s DG CONNECT under the Seventh Framework Programme, Stockholm UniversityandGov2u.    Much of the European research results presented in this year's conference were co-funded under the FP7 ICT Programme (2007 - 2013).

iMENTORS carried out a successful IST Africa Stakeholder workshop following iMENTORS presentation. The objectives of the conference were the following:


•    Inform about the iMENTORS project and the development of a decision-support system based on multiple stakeholders’ evaluations and impact assessments for on-going international aid projects and e-infrastructures.  
•    Learn from other eInfrastructures and related project issues.
•    Get stakeholder views on the role of open aid data in enhancing the coherence of international aid. 

The audience (scientists, universities, research and education networks, and international donors) provided invaluable feedback on the functionalities that were available on the platform, and made several recommendations. Special attention attracted the iMENTORS set of contextual factors which enable the assessment of ICT4D proposals ahead of their implementation by estimating their potential impact.

IST-Africa 2014 Conference & Exhibition attracted over 460 delegates from 44 countries representing policy makers, practitioners, and researchers from leading commercial, government and research organisations around the world.

The conference brought together senior representatives of leading public, private, education and research organisations from 50 countries to discuss policy, share insight and identify collaboration opportunities and provided an opportunity to meet with senior managers, practitioners, project managers, software engineers and researchers from industry, government and research organisations. Delegates and speakers attended to share knowledge, experience and lessons learnt, and network with their peers from around the world.

IST-Africa 2014 provided a collegiate setting for presentations and discussions of national and regional developments, issues of concern and good practice models, and networking with peers. IST-Africa 2014 also provided an opportunity to identify potential partners for future proposals under Horizon 2020, the follow on programme to FP7, which commenced in January 2014.

The 3-day programme featured an invigorating mix of business and government case studies, technical and policy papers and interactive workshops. As well as opening and closing plenary sessions, delegates participated in 38 thematically focused parallel sessions featuring different aspects of International Cooperation, eHealth, eInfrastructures, Technology Enhanced Learning and ICT Skills, Living Labs, Digital Libraries, Mobile Applications, ICT for Environmental Sustainability, eAgriculture, Societal Implications of Technology and eGovernment. Session Chairs ensured active discussion and facilitated delegate participation.

In the context of focusing on the Role of ICT for Africa's Development, the Opening Plenary on Wednesday 07 May featured a high level dialogue on Implementation of the Information Society in Africa. The Closing Plenary on Friday 09 May focused on Initiatives Supporting Development of Science, Technology and Innovation.

Hosted by the Government of Mauritius through the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology and the National Computer Board, and Supported by the European Commission (EC) and African Union Commission (AUC), IST-Africa 2014 was the ninth in an annual series of Ministerial Level Technology Research Conferences.

The IST-Africa Conference Series is part of the IST-Africa Initiative, co-funded under the European Framework Programme since 2005.

 

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EuropeLogo eInfastructure This project has received funding from the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement no 313203
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