Sierra Leone’s Minister of Information and Communications, Hon. Mohamed Bangura on Friday 16th September, 2016 told institutional and country representatives at the Global Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition summit in New York to stop investing in weapons and fighter jets, but agriculture to enhance food security globally.
Presenting a paper on open data revolution in Africa and Sierra Leone’s commitment to the promotion of Open Data on Agriculture and Nutrition, Mr. Bangura said 58 percent of Sierra Leone`s Gross Domestic Product comes from Agriculture. What is lacking is support to the farmers in terms of capacity to collate and interpret data on various aspects of their farming activities. Farmers need capacity on how to interpret geo data, market price, transportation etc.
"As a government, he continued, we have enacted the Right to Access Information Act, 2013 which makes the withholding of vital data by public authorities punishable. We have also signed the International Open Data Charter to reinforce our commitment to the global open data agenda.
Bangura emphasized His Excellency, Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma`s commitment to making Sierra Leone .food secure through open data on agriculture and nutrition.
In a related development, Sierra Leone`s delegation attended the Godan2016 High Level Forum in the Chambers of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) at the UN Headquarters.
At the ECOSOC meeting countries as a call to action were requested to encourage statements by Heads of States at the 2016 UN General Assembly in support of Open Data for agriculture and nutrition sign the GODAN petition and promote through their networks and thirdly become a GODAN Partner.
The Global Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition initiative supports the proactive sharing of open data to make information about agriculture and nutrition available, accessible and usable to deal with the urgent challenge of ensuring world food security.
GODAN is a rapidly growing group with over 350 international partners from Governments, universities, businesses and not for profit organizations that have committed to a joint statement of purpose.
Sierra Leone’s delegation comprised, Hon. Mohamed Bangura, Hon. Marie Jalloh, Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Food Security 1, Kwame Yankson, Executive Secretary, Right to Access Information Commission, Amadu Massally, RAIC Diaspora Consultant and Osman Kamara, CEO Sierra Leone`s Mission and Development.