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Gov’t to deploy Big Data program to digitize economy -Ursula Owusu

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Ursula Owusu-Ekuful

The Minister for Communications and Digitalisation, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, has disclosed that government is working on deploying Big Data program to completely digitize the economy.

“The government of Ghana is currently working on deploying Big Data across government to rationalise the collection, processing, storing and sharing of data among government agencies. This is expected to be the next major jump in our journey and to completely digitize our economy”, he stated.

She made this known in a an opening remark last week Thursday, in Accra, at 2021 World Development Report (WDR) Ghana Country Dissemination Workshop, organised by the World Bank, under the theme: “Leveraging Data to foster Development ; Where does Ghana stand?”.

According to the Minister, “Big Data is expected to come with the needed data analytics platform, which will help make proper sense of all the data being mined across government. It will also help government track trends across the ecosystem, make projections based on data modelling techniques that will be critical for decision making across the spectrum.”

The Big Data, in her view, is expected to bring transparency and efficiency in the way data is utilized. She emphasized that the built-in artificial intelligence component will ensure real time update of the different models for different stakeholders.

This, she said, government will then be able to make policy decisions based on data science and communicate effectively to citizens who would have access to the same data, which will improve on the trust relationship between government and the citizenry.

Some identified models for the Big Data program, the minister mentioned, are Big Data for Health, Agriculture, Governance, Trade, Security, Education, Finance, Disaster Management and Recreation.

The Operations Manager of the World Bank Ghana Office, Agata Pawlowska, in his address noted that there have been a remarkable growth in the rate of data generated across the globe and this was significantly accelerated by the rapid migration to the digital platforms as a result of COVID-19 pandemic.

However, he reinstated that data can significantly enhance development by providing useful insights and has been used to promote greater accountability, increase business opportunities and enhance service.

“Inspire of the benefits, it is noteworthy that data can also be used to cause harm to citizens, companies and countries when they are used in ways that are unethical, unsafe and unsecured,” he bemoaned.

JENNIFER AMBOLLEY

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