I am a retired university librarian and former President of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA, 2003 – 2005) www.ifla.org. Since 2016 I become a Partner and Consultant at Joint Minds Consult – an Education and Training consultancy firm – based in Gaborone, Botswana. See www.jointmindsconsult.com.
The focus areas of the consultancy are Research Training, Student Support, Knowledge Development and Management. At Joint Minds Consult, I am responsible for Knowledge Development and Management.
The consultancy serves as a think-tank on education and training and engages in advocacy work to advance the social economic agenda of the Southern African Development Community (SADC). I have served as an RDA Council member and Trustee since September 2013, at Plenary 2. My contribution to the RDA Community has been the sharing of perspectives on projects and activities from a developing country context. I see my role in RDA as an advocate for open data principles, management and its shared use for sustainable development in Africa. Hence I have worked with the African Academy of Sciences, a continent wide, research organization with sub regional nodes, and advocated for it to explore research data issues in African member Institutions and contribute to global initiatives in RDA. It is our hope at Joint Minds Consult that leading academic and government researchers may engage with the philosophy and principles of open data and its relevance to the building of the African knowledge society and innovation.
I have been involved in the RDA'S Libraries for Research Data Interest Group through which we advocated for the raising of awareness of Librarians on Open Data. This resulted in a jointly sponsored session at which a presentation entitled "23 Things: Libraries for Research Data" was made, at the annual conference of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions held in Cape Town in 2015. I have been engaged in the formative stages of the Interest Group on cloud computing infrastructures for Developing World Research(DWR) and in the process was introduced to CODATA which is a partner to RDA. Because of my association to these two bodies, I was able to link Botswana, through Joint Minds Consult, in raising awareness of the Research Community in Botswana on the need for coordination of research data to enable accessibility, use-ability and interoperability through the globally accepted principles of Open Data/ Open Science (ODOS). As Director for Knowledge Development and Management at Joint Minds Consult, I have provided leadership to guide discourse on Open Data and Open Science in Botswana. As a result, Joint Minds Consult has taken a leading role in shaping discourse at a national level. See http://www.jointmindsconsult.com/services/research/articles/
See also the report from the side event hosted in South Africa during the SA Science Forum where Joint Minds Consult, through its Principal researchers presented on the country initiatives on Open Data Open Science http://africanopenscience.org.za/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/notes-sideevent.pdfThe result of these efforts is that Joint Minds Consult is now leading national efforts towards convening the first Botswana National ODOS Forum to be held in May 2017.