On 21 April 21, 2023, We Are Capable (WAC) Namibia hosted Open Data Day at the Namibia Business Innovation Centre boardroom of the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST). The event was held with the theme “Challenges and opportunities in promoting ethical and cultural AI through open data and data sharing”. The event aimed to educate university students and citizens about the benefits and value that open data can bring to society. The event had about 25 students in attendance, most of them NUST students and others newly graduated students.

The event began with a welcome speech by Mr. Benjamin Akinmoyeje, an Informatics Ph.D. student at NUST, and was followed by a presentation by Ms. Ruusa Ipinge, a lecturer at NUST, on the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and open data. She explained GDPR and how it relates to open data. She also touched on the data protection law in Namibia, which is being drafted, and how the government is trying to create awareness to educate people about the policy that is soon to be implemented.

The main topic of the event was β€œChallenges and opportunities in promoting ethical and cultural AI through open data and data sharing,” which was presented by Benjamin Akinmojeje. He emphasised how AI can raise bias and not be culturally developed, which was an insightful presentation that sparked much interest among the audience.

Following the presentations, participants were grouped into small groups to discuss various topics related to the theme of the event. They discussed identifying biases in AI algorithms and how to address them, ensuring inclusivity in AI development and deployment, balancing data sharing with privacy concerns, and the role of open data in promoting ethical and culturally responsible AI.

The participants demonstrated an understanding of AI and open data, and they even highlighted some points on why Namibia needs to have a data protection law and an open data catalogue. They emphasised that data should be available, accessible, and shared with everyone, which will make it easier for students to use data for their research purposes.

In conclusion, Benjamin delivered a speech encouraging students to keep showing up at future events, as these events provide an opportunity to increase knowledge and interest in the field of data. Overall, the event was an informative and engaging event for students and the public who attended. It is essential that this event continues to be organised every year as it provides a vital source of knowledge about the field of open data.

We Are Capable (WAC) Namibia received a small grant to host Open Data Day(s) (ODD) events and activities.