Ghana to host 2017 Open Data Conference
About 600 experts, representatives of the international development agencies and other stakeholders are to converge on Accra next month to discuss how to fast-track the implementation of an open data system in Africa.
The four-day Africa Open Data Conference, scheduled for July 17-21 2017, will be held at the Accra International Conference Centre on the theme: “Open data for sustainable development in Africa.”
The regional conference with support from the global level and the World Bank will among other things discuss the progress and achievements of the open data industry.
It has been a platform to raise awareness of and determine the next line of action in the effective implementation of the phenomenon in Africa.
The first edition of the conference was held in September 2015 and hosted by Tanzania.
Launching the conference in Accra yesterday, the Minister of Communications, Mrs Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, said the government’s objective for hosting the conference was that it would help the country to build open data awareness of business, the media, governments, civil societies and citizens of participating countries.
“Hosting the conference will help to identify issues relating to access and use of open data, facilitate stakeholder engagement to increase open data use in Ghana and drive use of open data by businesses, media and all stakeholders,” she said.
Mrs Owusu-Ekuful said other reasons for hosting the conference was to identify the kind of data regime needed to build a robust and effective system to facilitate the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
She said Ghana was working towards automating all government services as it joined other countries in the quest to become an information society to accelerate national development.
For his part, the acting Director-General of the National Information Technology Agency (NITA), Mr Jeffery Konadu Addo, expressed the hope that the outcome would enhance the country’s knowledge and expertise, as well as awareness of making information available through an open data initiative.
“The core of the whole idea of open data is to make information available to all without any hindrances and difficulties,” he explained.
On how Ghana was faring with the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a Senior Technical Advisor at the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC), Mrs Grace Bediako, said Ghana was integrating the SDGs into the national development framework.
She explained that the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) were integrated in the national development agenda and, therefore, the implementation of the SDGs would only be an extension and expansion of the development agenda.
Ghana made a commitment to join the open government partnership, an initiative of the United States of America (USA) to promote transparency, empower citizens, fight corruption and harness new technologies to strengthen governance by signing onto the policy in September 2011, at the 66th UN General Assembly in New York.
The signing of the partnership sparked off a quest for Ghana to open up its government data with some data now available at the government portal.