Open Data Opportunities Draw Investors to Ghana

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Ghana has been selected to host the second Africa Open Data Conference (AODC) in July which is expected to draw potential investors seeking opportunities in the emerging trend.

A statement issued by the National Information and Technology Agency (NITA) on Wednesday said the four-day conference would be held from July 17-21.

It said the 2017 Africa Open Data Conference in Accra, Ghana, is expected to attract over 600 delegates drawn from all over Africa and the world at large.

The auspicious event would push the leadership role of the private sector in supplying, using, and demanding open data, and bring together brilliant innovators and visionaries to grow their networks, hone their success, and connect with sources of support, and introduce investors and donors to an expanding sector that seeks and supplies open data to achieve development goals in Africa and across the globe.

It would also help identify existing and potential solutions for closing the open data skill gap in Ghana and Africa.

Developing and expanding partnerships that build open data awareness and drive use of open data among businesses, media, governments, academia, civil society, citizens, and advocacy organizations is keen in the event.

New actors with existing projects and initiatives would benefit from open data, including the Sustainable Development Goals, Data Journalism, and Ghana-specific programs such as e-Transform.

“It would improve the quality and re-usability of open data services including the Ghana Open Data Portal.

“It would review progress made for open data in Ghana and in Africa and launch new opportunities for mentorship, training, and funding of open data-driven projects and initiatives including the second round of the Africa Open Data Challenge,” the statement said.”

The conference would promote the development and harmonization of data standards across Africa and build healthier communities through improved open data in Africa.

The forum will help to identify the kind of data regime needed for the most effective and robust systems for the implementation and reaching the SDG’s.

The statement added that not only would the event increase the demand for open data across sectors and including open Government data in Ghana and Africa but also elevate existing and ongoing work to be counted toward progress of SDGs.

It said Ghana was part of the Africa open data Community and signed unto the Open Government Partnership in September, 2011, which sparked off a quest for Ghana to open-up its government data; with some government data now opened for public use.

The Africa Open Data Community is a convening space for technology industry, small businesses, journalists, civic technology, entrepreneurs, researchers, students, and IT solution providers. Others are banks, telecoms, insurance companies, NGO’s, donor organizations, and local and national governments to connect virtually and in person to share advances in open data, share lessons, and form new collaborations.

The Ghana Open Data Initiative (GODI) was started in January 2012 as a project under the National Information Technology Agency (NITA).

The GODI project was the fourth thematic areas of the Ghana Action Plan 2013 adopted by Ghana Open Government Partnership Steering Committee with its secretariat at the Public Sector Reform Secretariat under the office of the president.

The Ministry of Communications has launched the e-Transform project, a World Bank project, that has amongst others a component to revamp the Ghana Open Data Initiative and improved the Ghana open data portal.

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