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JOHANNESBURG - Kenya's government said on Wednesday it had won a bid to host the 6th International Open Data Conference to be  held in Africa for the first time in 2020.

The announcement was made at the closing ceremony of the recent 5th edition of the conference in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

The conference, held once every two years, brings together officials from governments, civil society, academia and innovators among others to discuss policies, technologies, tactics, tools and platforms for making data more open, accessible, available and interoperable in support of development priorities.

The IODC exists to accelerate collaboration and increase the impact of open data activities globally, across different workstreams such as agriculture, health, education, gender and fiscal transparency.

Kenya's government said it had won the bid through a campaign led by Deputy President William Ruto.

Ruto has previously affirmed his commitment to creating an inclusive data ecosystem involving the government, the private sector, academia, civil society, local communities, and development partners.

The theme of the 2020 conference will be "Bridging Data Communities” and it is expected to bring over 3,000 participants to Nairobi from over 100 countries. Additionally, over 50 tech international tech companies will participate, exhibit and hopefully invest in Africa’s burgeoning innovation spaces.

Legal advisor and head of policy in Ruto's office Dr. Korir Sing’Oei said hosting the conference would be an opportunity for Africa to showcase impact on how it had harnessed the power of data, technology and innovation, to respond to the age-old challenges of our populations.

"With this opportunity ... we are signaling Africa’s readiness to play a leading role in bridging the different data communities to deliver the benefits of data to our economies and leave no one behind,"  Sing’Oei said.

- African News Agency (ANA)