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Science of the Future - The Future of Science - Presentation for the Launch of the African Open Science Platform

Mokhele, Khotso; Boulton, Geoffrey; Osman, Faranah; Hodson, Simon; Hackmann, Heide; Qhobela, Molapo

During South Africa’s fourth Science Forum, the anticipated vision and strategy of the African Open Science Platform (AOSP) was announced. This pan-African endeavour aims to position African scientists at the cutting edge of data intensive science by stimulating interactivity and creating opportunity through the development of efficiencies of scale, the creation of critical mass through shared capacities, and amplifying impact through a commonality of purpose and voice.

The AOSP was presented by Dr Khotso Mokhele, co-chairperson of the advisory council of the AOSP [and former President of the National Research Foundation (NRF)], and was acknowledged by the Minister of Science and Technology (DST), Minister Kubayi-Ngubane.

The conceptualisation of the AOSP was initiated during the 2015 Science Forum, where the first meeting of Science International (ICSU, ISSC, TWAS, IAP) was hosted, leading to the publication of an international accord on open data in a big data world. This ignited a conversation that resulted in the launch of the AOSP pilot project during the 2016 Science Forum.

During the next two years, the founding members of the AOSP will operationalise the platform, to be initiated during a meeting of the founding members and international funders in May 2019, hosted by Dr Ismail Serageldin who also serves as the AOSP co-chair.

It is anticipated that the fully-fledged platform will be operationalised in 2020. The DST, NRF, the International Council of Science, CODATA, and the SA Academy of Science, actively participate in the initiative.

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