UNESCO Lunches African Open Access Project

UNESCO launches African Open Access (OA) project which primarily focuses on three sub-regions: East, West and North. The project will benefit scientific organizations, researchers, students of higher institutions, and science technology and innovation systems in various countries. It will be implemented in partnership with various universities and organizations. UNESCO allocated an estimated budget of 2.1 million USD for the project that will be implemented in 2014/16.

The project’s aim is to accomplish the folowing goals: examining an inclusive and participatory modality to implement Open Access to Scientific Information and Research, developing approaches for upstream policy advice, and building partnerships for OA and strengthening capacities at various levels to foster OA. During implementation the project will undertake survey on the possibilities of setting Pan-African OA standard. It will also organize international congresses on OA in Africa and release Open Access toolkit for promotion of OA journals and repositories. Moreover, the project will carry out policy research for evidence-based policy making, and developing a reliable set of indicators for measuring the impact of Open Access.

As a result of this project, UNESCO expects beneficiary countries to adopt OA policies, member states educational institutions use OA curricula for training librarians and young researchers. UNESCO also anticipates key stakeholders in OA will actively participate in OA knowledge-based community and create a regional, mechanism for South-South Collaboration.

According to UNESCO, access to knowledge is causing lapses in providing economic security, literacy, and creating opportunities for innovations in the continent. There is a widely regarded “Knowledge challenge”. Hence, UNESCO facilitates ways through which open contents, processes and technologies benefit people in Africa. The organization, likewise, endeavors to make sure that information and knowledge are inclusive and widely shared in order to benefit everyone in the continent.

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