Ep 22 - Lailah & Julia - Empowering South Africans through Open Data

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Episode Summary

The government is starting to open some data in South Africa. We need to skill up our citizens on how to access it, how to consume it, and how to use it.
— Julia Renouprez

First, a quick announcement… We’re launching a new series called “Analytics on the Road”!

For those that don’t know, Dave Mathias has been traveling through Africa and Europe the last 3 months. Along the way, he had the chance to meet up with data people from all walks of life. We wanted to share their voices and find commonality and community, learn from them


He started in Cape Town South Africa where he had the opportunity to speak with Lailah Ryklief and Julia Renouprez from the non-profit organization, Open Up.

At Open Up, they believe that an equal society starts with equal access to information, and that access to relevant information creates an active citizenry. You cannot change something if you don't know what it is, how it works, or that it even exists. Open Up is helping the citizens of South Africa by working with the government to open source their data, and then building tools and skills to make that data available and understandable to the broader population!


One of the core ways they help citizens in South Africa is through Data Literacy training, helping people understand that the data exists, what kinds of questions they can answer with it, and how to use it through some simple tools.

South Africa has a lot of opportunities for growth. One of the biggest problems they face right now is poverty. Helping people understand where poverty comes from and how it is perpetuated is the first step in reducing the poverty gap.

Teaching people about data also gives them critical skills that they can use to find better jobs, increase their pay, and improve their and their families lives!

More about Lailah & Julia

Connect with Lailah on LinkedIn: in/lailah-ryklief-b6489054
Read Lailah’s Bio: Lailah Ryklief Bio

Connect with Julia on LInkedIn: in/julia-renouprez-9ba25619
Read Julia’s Bio: Julia Renouprez Bio

Links and References

Lailah & Julia’s Non-Profit - Open Up

Julia’s Data Hero - Adi Eyal - Open Up Director

Lailah’s Favorite Book - Forensic Architecture

Julia’s Favorite Book - The Witcher books

Cape Town Communities - Codebridge Meetup

Cape Town Communities - Data Viz Meetup

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