Over one week spent in Gaborone, with data professionals from across the globe, from 66 countries to be exact felt like that for me. It was an experience beyond any expectation I had. As I said in my speech during the opening plenary session, what was a dream over 2 years ago, became an unbelievable reality from 5-8 November 2018. International Data Week 2018 was amazing.
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On the morning of Sunday November 4th, 2018, I arrived from London at the Gaborone International Conference Centre in Botswana. I was there to participate in activities associated with International Data Week 2018, including the 12th Research Data Alliance (RDA) Plenary. This was my ninth time attending an RDA Plenary, my second time participating in International Data Week, but my first time in Africa. My journey here was generously supported by a grant from the RDA Europe 4.0 Experts Programme.
I was immensely pleased to be able to attend this event due to an Expert Researcher Grant from RDA Europe. As always, there were a number of sessions I was looking forward to contributing to, and many people I wanted to see. But this was also the first time that both I and International Data Week had come to Africa, and I knew this would make it a very special meeting.