In a significant step towards advancing scientific and scholarly communication across the African continent, the Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM) and the West and Central African Research and Education Network (WACREN) have inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). This strategic collaboration paves the way for the establishment of an agricultural data repository, extending free access to agricultural data and related fields for researchers hailing from over 163 RUFORUM member universities and research organizations.
Leveraging the capabilities of WACREN's AfricaConnect3 project and the Library Support for Embedded NREN Services and E-infrastructure (LIBSENSE) initiative, this partnership also aims to champion open-access publishing and open science, all the while eliminating costs for users. The joint endeavour is primed to facilitate agriculture research data sharing and management, along with providing support for journal hosting and publishing.
With far-reaching implications for RUFORUM's knowledge repository, this collaboration introduces key elements, including open educational resources for research data management. The initiative garners support from the Global Programme to End Child Marriage, a joint effort by UNICEF and UNFPA, which has been instrumental in addressing harmful social norms and advancing open access and open science in Africa.
Dr Boubakar Barry, CEO of WACREN, underscored the significance of this partnership, highlighting its potential to fortify research within the agriculture community. The collaboration aspires to empower agriculture researchers and enrich the learning experiences of students through innovative ICT-enabled techniques.
This partnership marks a significant stride in knowledge exchange and mutual support to address shared interests and needs. The project is poised to make a substantial contribution to scientific research, data sharing, and open access in Africa, with far-reaching implications for the broader scientific community. It signifies a critical step forward in bolstering Africa's role in global scholarly communication and research collaboration.
Article by Nyokabi Wanjiku