The Africa Open Data and Internet Research Foundation (AODIRF), in partnership with the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC), is organising a three-day conference on how to use geospatial data to formulate better policies for the development of the country.
Dubbed the African Geospatial Data and Internet Conference (AGDIC), it is intended to help the country assess how it can use geospatial data to drive government policies and initiatives to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) it has committed itself to.
It is also to address how a set of data can be used to create an enabling environment for the co-development of localized data-driven agricultural services, as well as the accelerating country policies on open data for food and agriculture in Africa.
The programme, which is also in collaboration with the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS), would also throw light on how geospatial data can be used for urban development and the distribution of government initiatives and projects for the benefit of the citizenry.
The programme is an Africa wide conference, hence, a number of individuals and groups from different countries in the African sub-region are expected to attend, from October 22-24 at the Accra International Conference.
Addressing the media, Mr Kwaku Antwi, a member of the organizing committee indicated that “we are in the technological era, hence, Ghana should prepare itself to use data and information technology to solve some basic issues.”
He said that geospatial data is a tool that would be able to analyse and make data easy to use, which is the essence of the conference.
He said that ministers and other high profile government representatives would be assembled to benefit from the programme, and added that training sessions would be organised for groups and individuals.
Dr Grace Bediako, the Director General of the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC) and Chair of the conference local organizing committee spoke from the government’s perspective, expressed her enthusiasm about the programme and entreated all to be there.
Explaining why she was excited about the conference, Madam Grace said that geospatial data would be able to address the issue of uneven distribution of government projects and initiatives in the country.
“If a government want to build hospitals and wants to know where to situate it, geospatial data would be able to show places where fatalities and accidents normally happen, so it would be easy for you to indicate where hospitals should be built to benefit citizens.
“So this programme would help us to learn how to use geospatial data to plan and implement government policies well. We, at the NDPC, are excited because it would also enable us to assess how we can use technology to solve some of the SDGs.”
He also indicated that most those who work in his cycle are mostly female, yet they are the ones with less access to the best technologies and GODAN is poised to correct that anomaly, because women’s contribution to the economy is enormous and should not be overlooked.
“There are lots of digital devices; most of the devices now are gender based. Statistics shows that women have less access to technology for all kinds of reasons, and they want to change that. Women are active participants in the development of an economy so we aim to correct that situation that’s why we are partnering.”
By Agnes Ansah/www.chronicle.com.gh