There can be tension between investing in international platforms vs. more local platforms and there are good arguments for both. We aim to expand access to and use of biodiversity data and information services in Africa and to support local capacity development to do so. We know that it is vital to involve end-users in system design and data content. It appears more likely to build locally relevant services if there are local partners and local ownership. We will always favor projects that make a compelling case that data will be used and have users involved. Yet, there is greater capacity outside of Africa and the international data platforms are important for decision making in major development banks and development agencies of OECD governments. Enhancing an international platform to improve access to and visualization of African biodiversity data would certainly be good but we’d have to understand the benefits to African capacity development. An interesting question may be: How can an African host/mirror or an African front end to international data platforms might increase the use and relevance of the platforms for local needs?