Bitange Ndemo sets himself a big challenge: explaining how we can link big data to poverty reduction!
First, a story from Kenya that starts at a time before undersea cables. They spent more money discussions data collection on where to lay a data cable than it would have cost to link Eastern Africa to the Middle East. That realisation opened the roadblock.
When entering government, policy objectives included building more infrastructure, but also wanted encouragement of mobile apps and innovation, building human resources and encouraging public private partnerships. All with the idea of making Kenya a hub of African innovation -- two words, he argued, not often found in the same sentence.
But also open data was key. Took three weeks to get 500 datasets onto a shared open platform, underscoring that its political will that is most necessary.
Helped to drive push now for realtime data. But new challenge is how to curate data faster.