Ghana to review Open Data Initiative legal framework

By Nana Appiah Acquaye, Accra, Ghana

Ghana’s legal framework on telecommunication will soon be subjected to review with the aim of redirecting the open data initiative to produce the desired results. The move is also expected to remove any bottlenecks in promoting open-data and lead the effort to sensitize, promote and encourage access to and use of open-data resources.

Minister of Communication Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, who made this revelation at the just ended Open Data Conference in Accra, noted that while policy guidelines provide benchmarks upon which standards are formulated and adopted to guide the production of open-data, a strong legal framework will ensure that the whole of government adopts open-data as the standard approach of data creation and dissemination.

She said her ministry would also develop a data analytic strategy to be infused into the open data for development programme to ensure that data can impact administrative efficiency through evidence based decision making.

“Sector by sector, the programme will adopt systems, approaches and practices to encourage stakeholders within the open-data ecosystems to work together to develop solutions to the issues in these sectors and ultimately impact citizens with the outcome of these solutions,” she stated.

Acknowledging the theme of the conference ‘Developing Africa through Open Data’ the minister stressed that with the Internet of Things and the growing number of smart, connected, sensor-equipped machines, tools and devices, the volume of data produced is expected to grow exponentially hence the need to build an innovative friendly ecosystem in which private businesses will find the right incentives for investing in open-data initiatives, data analytics and mining to extract the valuable information stored therein for all manner of customized applications.

“Access to data is critical for economic players and for the development of viable business models. However, Africa is not doing so well in generating and harnessing data for development,” she intimated.

According to the Communications Minister, Ghana will be hosting a workshop on the establishment of an information exchange and citizen portal that would serve as an avenue for utilizing the vast amount of data to be generated by  e-ID, Linked databases and digital property address system to be implemented by the end of 2017. And this she said will help make Ghana a smart connected country.

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