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Ghana gears up for African Geospatial Data and Internet Conference

Accra (Ghana): The use of geospatial information and technology is critical for achieving the 2030 agenda for sustainable development, according to Wisdom Donkor, President of the Africa Open Data and Internet Research Foundation (AODIRF). Donker was speaking at a media engagement in Accra, as part of preparations towards the hosting of African Geospatial Data and Internet Conference (AGDIC).

The conference is slated for October 22-24 and will address the theme: “Shaping Africa’s Digital Future”. It is being organized by AODIRF in collaboration with Global Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition, National Development Planning Commission, Ghana Statistical Service and Geospatial Media and Communications, India, and seeks to bring to the fore the important role of geospatial information in development agenda, including sustainable development goals, a report by Ghana News Agency stated.

Prashant Joshi, Vice President of Geospatial Media and Communications, also noted that with the extremely bullish socio-economic outlook about Africa, there was no doubt that it was time for the geospatial ecosystem in the continent to take the next leap forward. He added that the positive approach of new technology adoption without being burdened by old legacy systems augurs well for the new technology advancements.

The maiden edition of the conference would bring together various stakeholder groups across Africa and the world to set the agenda on Africa’s digital future leveraging geospatial, open data, ICTs and internet technologies in Africa. People can register as participants by visiting www.afrigeocon.org.

Eric Akumiah, Chairman, 2019 AGDIC local organizing committee, said as part of the Open Data Initiative, the government was trying to put together policies that would help ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) release data in readable formats. This would help create value out of the data, especially from the demand side of the ecosystem, mostly developers and civil society organizations.

Akumiah, who is also a data expert working on the E-Transform Project, which is seeking to revamp open data initiative, said the synergies between the E-transform and the forthcoming conference; was focusing on trying to make data available for use in developing applications.

Earlier, Donkor also noted that with digital transformation changing governance, businesses and daily life at an ever accelerating pace, efficient technology adoption would be key to leverage these opportunities. He added that in this digital era, geospatial information would be the game changer since most planning and development was location based. Better understanding and management of digital location-based data and services integrated with other attribute data could enable more efficient resource allocation for better service delivery.

He was hopeful that the conference would bring lots of capacity for Ghanaians especially the demand side of ecosystem, however, for the supply side there would be lots of capacity building in addition to already what the project was doing.