IDW 2018 will be held in Gaborone, the capital city of Botswana, an excellent location for this compelling international conference for the following reasons:
- ▶ The fundamental role of data for research, for economic development and ecological sustainability are recognised as important and are supported by the government, research institutions and community.
- ▶ The government of Botswana has a strong and forward looking policy to support education, technology, development and research.
- ▶ Botswana is active and well-integrated in regional (Southern African Development Community: SADC), African and international collaboration in various areas of research and in data activities.
- ▶ The Botswana University and research sector is advancing greatly as a result of these policies and engagements.
- ▶ Gaborone is easy to get to, with connecting flights for international participants from Johannesburg (JNB), Nairobi (NBO) and Addis Ababa (ADD), and boasts attractive venues and excellent quality, competitively-priced hotels.
- ▶ Botswana is one of the safest countries in the world according to the Global Peace Index: http://visionofhumanity.org/indexes/global-peace-index/. Since independence in 1966, Botswana maintained a stable representative democracy, with a consistent record of uninterrupted democratic elections and ranking 35 (out of 176 countries) in the Corruption Perceptions Index 2016 https://www.transparency.org/news/feature/corruption_perceptions_index_2016.
- ▶ Gaborone offers a pleasant location and attractions; in the north of the country, there are unique UNESCO sites for participants who wish to visit before or after the conference.