Kenya delays Open Data Portal launch

Kenya has announced that it was delaying the launch of the Open Data Portal after initial reports said the portal would go live on Friday.

Dr. Bitange Ndemo, Permanent Secretary within Kenya's Ministry of Information and Communication. The country has announced a delay in the launch of the Open Data Portal. (Image: File)

According to the country’s ICT Board, the move has been delayed by the government in order for legislators to organise who will govern the portal and which organizations – including government agencies – will provide information.

Local news reports on Friday said that many government agencies are fearful of being scrutinized and possibly having to face public queries. 

The board, which is under the Ministry of Information and Communication, said it “plans to assist some of these government agencies to digitize their information that could be used in the planning and development of useful applications.”

The board also announced plans to first focus on digitizing police records of the Judiciary and Lands Ministry, as well as data from the Ministry of Health.

When the portal goes live it will be the second in Africa after Morocco.

Linet Kwamboka, the Open Data co-ordinator at Kenya ICT Board, called for legislation “that will govern the portal and demand information from organizations, especially government agencies.”

It appears that the portal will be delayed for some time until all details can be sorted out.

Mohammad Awad