Unlocking the Potential of Open Government in Africa
The idea of open government is based on the philosophy that genuine democracy is a participatory process, and that people must have access to the right information if they are to play an effective part in the processes of governance. Open government provides the possibility of access to information and participation in decision making as well as monitoring of government actions. One of the ways of achieving open government is through a focus on making government data more accessible to citizens. The term “open government data” (OGD) refers to any government-produced or government-commissioned data that are freely available and publicly accessible. Public datasets include those of a business, legal, economic, social, geographical, environmental and other nature. The OGD system involves the use of technology to provide unrestricted access to government data. It does not automatically promote open government but it can facilitate it. Furthermore, while OGD is a component of open data, not all open data are derived from government sources: OGD refers specifically to open data that are provided by governments.