The Government of Ghana will convene a conference for the tech industry, small businesses, data journalists, entrepreneurs, researchers, students, IT solution providers, banks, telcos, insurance companies, NGOs, donor organizations, and local and national governments to connect virtually and in person, to share advances in open data and form new collaborations.
This will take place at the Accra International Conference Center from 17-21 July 2017.
Addressing a press launch in Accra, the Communications Minister, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, underscored the importance of open data in delivering quality services to citizens, adding that Ghana will take a leading role in open data in the West Africa sub-Region.
“I think the decision has already been taken that we will not only be part of it, but we will take the lead and show the way in the sub-region” she said.
She pointed out that, ‘there are various building blocks that we need to put in place to ensure that we generate usable data so that application developers, academics, researchers and ordinary citizens can get the information that they need from their government’.
Mrs. Owusu-Ekuful firmly believes making Ghana a data open country, will help citizens make government officials more accountable.
“it will also help make government more accountable to the people. So people don’t sit on information and think it is their personal property and you need to know some big persons before you can get information or even information about yourself.”
The first conference in Africa was held in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania in 2015.
Government and open data expert, Katherine Townsend, is upbeat about the prospects of open data for Ghana’s development.
“Ghana is actually the continent’s lead in open data. What this conference can do for Ghana is to re-infuse its work on open data and all the people who have been working in transparency in government and service delivery for years, to highlight the work they are doing, bring in new investments, new partners and specifically give training to the current and new generation of the people working in open data space, and really present Ghana again as the leader in open data in Africa”.
This year’s conference will focus on open data for sustainable development in Africa, with sub-themes like gender, health, agriculture and nutrition, energy, Sustainable Development Goals, extractive industry and education.
Ghana’s specific outcomes from the conference include identifying the kind of data regime needed for the most effective and robust system for the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.
By: Caleb Kudah/citifmonline.com/Ghana