African governments urged to develop data driven policies to transform their economies

By Nana Appiah Acquaye, Accra, Ghana

African governments have been urged to develop data driven policies to transform their economies.

Speaking at the opening of first ever Data Science Summit (Indabax Ghana) at the Kofi Annan Center of Excellence in ICT Center in Accra, the Co-founder of a Ghanaian-based analytics startup, Wave-2 Analytics, Delali Agbenyegah noted that there is an urgent need for Africa countries including Ghana to focus on driving the data agenda which has the potential of impacting positively on businesses and job creation.

According to him, developing a detailed data policy is crucial since it could help improve the way of doing business and the sharing of data among individuals and institutions within an economy.

“So I think that Africa governments need data policies, a specific data policy that details the process that business need to take and the sharing of data, in terms of security, because sometimes people are not willing to share information because they think is not secured. But if government has policies in place that protects the individual or the customers from their data when they share it then people will feel more comfortable in sharing,” he stated.

Mr. Agbenyegah who is also the Director, Data Science and Analytics at Express, Columbus OH, USA told delegates that, these have become necessary because existing policies governing Africa’s tech space are suppose to help digitalization and not data.

“Digitalization is so broad, digitalization is really making things computerize and not necessarily data,” he averred. 

Lack of customer data has also been identified as an impediment in innovating commerce in Africa. Its believed that beyond digital payment, most additional individual customer information in Africa is largely uncollected in the commerce chain and this is as a result of the fact that many businesses on the continent are still heavy on cash transaction which leave little customer trail.

The three-day summit which is held on the theme the Promise of Data Science for Economic Transformation is attended by students, researchers, industry practitioners and leaders and it’s expected to address interesting topics such as Data Management and Business Analytics, Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence.

Speakers at this year’s event includes Delali Agbenyegah, Director, Data Science and Analytics, Express, Columbus OH, USA , Darlington Akogo, Founder and Director of Artificial Intelligence, MinoHealth AI Labs, Ghana, Danielle Belgrave, PhD, Microsoft Research, Cambridge, MA, USA, Moustapha Cisse, PhD, Head of Google AI Center, Accra, Ghana  and Ayorkor Korsah, PhD, Head of Department of Computer Science, Ashesi University, Ghana

Organized by Ghanaian-based analytics startup, Wave-2 Analytics in partnership with the Deep Learning Indaba, the Data Science Summit 2019 is aimed at bringing  increased awareness and capacity building efforts in data science and analytics (including data mining, machine learning, and artificial learning) to Ghana. 

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