Opportunities for Data-Enabled Interventions in Africa

An Impact Research project to support Engineering for Change in the identifying opportunities for data-enabled interventions in Africa.

Opportunities for Data-Enabled Interventions in Africa

In this era of Big Data, there are a number of opportunities in different development sectors for innovators to design products and services of high impact that meet end-user requirements and demands, thereby forecasting their profitability and production.

However, to utilize data in Africa for interventions in different development sectors, a robust data ecosystem needs to be developed to enable knowledge and insights to be shared across different decision-makers. This may require a strong computing edge to pre-process the data to be made readily available for usage. This process, however, is costly due to data gathering and conversion techniques used, which contain errors requiring huge amounts of cleaning efforts.

In this research aiming to identify opportunities for data-enabled interventions in Africa, we discovered that African countries can leverage significantly on Earth Observation (EO) data to draw in-depth knowledge and translate it into actionable insights to produce valuable and informed decisions on sustainable development across domains.

This EO data can be used in the decision-making process of soil and coastal erosion, agriculture, deforestation, desertification, water quality, climate changes, and changes to human settlements. Harnessing the power of data can enable organizations to develop business models. Through data mining, explorations, modeling, and predictive analysis; product developers can develop new products or further make improvements on their existing products to project their market performance. Data journalists can also write stories of importance that can bridge the knowledge gap on developments leveraging on the same data. Data can further enable organizations to streamline efficiently their business goals and strategies efficiently, thereby propelling their productivity and profitability by comparing their baseline data with the intervention data to determine if their operations are, in fact, driving the company to meet their set targets.

Earth Observation data has tremendous potential for enabling interventions in Africa. Attribution: Joseph Mdumuka

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