Embracing the Data Revolution for Development


Agriculture in Africa
Data revolution
Digital agriculture


This article examines the challenges that the digitalisation of agriculture in Africa brings with respect to ownership and control of data from the perspective of African indigenous farmers as data originators. It discusses the phenomena of the data revolution and digital agriculture in Africa, mapping out the ecosystem of digital agriculture by identifying general trends, key players, types and features of digitalisation driven by the capabilities of mobile and network infrastructure as well as by higher-level digitisation supported by data infrastructures capability. By situating farm data as a constitutive element of traditional knowledge of agricultural production that is subjected to ‘datafication’, the article outlines the challenges of access to data and of unequal utilisation of data as having an impact on development imperatives that necessitate better control of data flows. It proposes data justice as a
conceptual framework for an Africa-wide governance of farm data in which the challenges on access to data and unfairness in its utilisation are addressed in a manner consistent with the continent’s aspirations for intra-regional relations.



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