Special News


On Thursday, September 10th, Google.org announced that VODAN Africa was selected to receive funding as part of the company’s efforts to support projects using innovative Al and data analytics to help understand COVID-19 and address its impacts.

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On September 8th, 2020, prominent women in the global Artificial Intelligence (AI) Community gathered do discuss how AI can transform education, business, health, fintech, digital transformation, and more. The Executive Coordinator VODAN Africa, Prof. Francisca Oladipo was among the speakers at the summit where she spoke on The Science of FAIR Data.

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The VODAN Africa Team in Nigeria on Tuesday, September 8th, 2020 demonstrated the FAIRification of COVID-19 data at the FAIR Data Point (FDP) deployed at Data Science Nigeria (DSN). This demonstration was done by Ezekiel Adebayo Ogundepo from DSN and Dr. Sakinat Folorunso, the Nigerian Team Lead at VODAN Africa. The webinar was hosted by Charles Kahiro and Ivy Wachara of Ravel Works Africa.

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On September 8th, 2020, VODAN Africa team consisting of the Executive Coordinator, Prof. Francisca Oladipo and the Nigerian team lead, Dr Sakinat Folorunsho and other global AI experts will be addressing the largest gathering of Women in Artificial Intelligence (WAI), the WAI summit themed “Bringing All Minds Together”.

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On 2nd September 2020 the Virus Outbreak Data Network (VODAN Africa) team held a robust high-level technical session with the team at Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC) to access the level of preparedness for intercontinental network access and querying of datasets between FAIR Data Points (FDPs) in Africa and Europe.

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With the successful deployment of more FAIR Data Points in Africa, the Virus Outbreak Data Network (VODAN Africa) team reiterated their readiness to FAIRify COVID-19 data across the continent. This was demonstrated in a webinar by Mariam Basajja, the Technical Coordinator, VODAN Africa, and a Ph.D. student at the University of Leiden. The session was hosted by Charles Kahiro and Ivy Wachara of Ravel Works Africa.

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Within five months after Virus Outbreak Data Network (VODAN-Africa) Initiative was launched in March 2020, the VODAN Africa team at Tunisia led by Dr Mariem Ghardallou and Ms Morgane Wirtz has successfully created a machine-actionable metadata using VODAN-in-a-Box and CEDAR platforms. This was demonstrated in a webinar hosted by Charles Kahiro and Ivy Wachara of Ravel Works Africa on 25th August 2020, participants and observers were drawn from Africa and Europe.

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As the COVID-19 pandemic ran riot around the world, and was gradually making inroads into Africa, a new partnership developed to address the current and immediate challenges faced in the continent using a different kind of science: the science of FAIR Data.

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The Virus Outbreak Data Network (VODAN-Africa) team in Ethiopia on Tuesday, 18th August 2020, demonstrated the readiness of Ethiopia to FAIRify COVID-19 data through the presentation of a working VODAN-in-a-Box at Addis Ababa University and Mekelle University, both in Ethiopia, during the Metadata For Machine Workshop hosted by Charles Kahiro and Ivy Wachara of Ravel Works Africa.

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In the bid to sustain the gains and momentum generated by the Virus Outbreak Data Network (VODAN-Africa) after the successful deployment of the VODAN-in-a-Box at Kampala International University (KIU) and Data Science Nigeria (DSN), the VODAN Africa Nigeria Team lead by Dr Sakinat Folorunso, hosted the Management of the Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU) Nigeria, in an informative session on the ongoing VODAN Africa project. The presentation was made by Prof Francisca Oladipo, the Executive Coordinator, VODAN Africa Initiative.

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Today, 11th August 2020, marks another landmark achievement in the mission of the Africa Implementation Network of the Virus Outbreak Data Network (VODAN-Africa), to FAIRify COVID-19 data in the continent. In a two-hour intensive workshop hosted by Charles Kahiro and Ivy Wachara of Ravel Works Africa and witnessed by data stewards and observers from Africa and Europe, the VODAN Africa team successfully deployed the third machine-actionable FAIR Data Point (FDP) at Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida University Lapai, (IBBUL), Niger State, North-Central Nigeria.

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In a two-hour session hosted by Charles Kahiro and Ivy Wachira of Ravel Works, Africa, and witnessed by 33 participants which consist of Data Stewards and observers from Uganda, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Kenya, Tunisia, Zimbabwe and the United States, the Virus Outbreak Data Network (VODAN-Africa) initiative has installed a second Machine-actionable FAIR Data point for COVID-19 in Data Science Nigeria. This is coming barely two weeks after the successful installation of the first VODAN-in-a-Box at Kampala International University.

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