In line with the country’s goal to leverage on data and information technology for development, Ghana will host the Africa Geospatial Data and Internet Conference (AGDIC), in Accra, from October 22 to 24.
The AGDIC seeks to inform and inspire cross-sectoral policy and decision-makers in Africa to discuss, exchange knowledge and information and share good practice.
It would also facilitate a common understanding of how to maximise geospatial, ICT and Internet-related opportunities in Africa and address the risks and challenges that may arise.
Geospatial data could be described as any data with a spatial identifier referring to a position on the earth such as a house, road, lake and mountain.
Over the past quarter-century, information in the form of digital data has become the foundation on which governments, industries, and organisations base many of their decisions.
Dr Grace Afua Bediako, the Director-General of the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC) speaking at a media briefing in Accra, said data was crucial to the NDPC and that the proper collection, analysis, and usability of timely and relevant data could mean the difference between success and failure.
The event would bring together about 1200 people from various stakeholders as equals, in discussions on public policy issues relating to geospatial and open data, Information Communication Technology and Internet across the African continent.
With the theme, “Shaping Africa’s Digital Future,” the conference would explore the integration of geospatial technology with industrial trends such as artificial intelligence, big data, and 5G as an enabler of smart national infrastructure.
Among the highest point of the conference would be a high-level ministerial section, which would be led by the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources.
Dr Bediako said there exists a deluge of data, that grew exponentially each day explaining that companies and institutions had come to the awareness that, not only must they have access to the right data at the right time, but must also have access to analysis of the raw data to make correct decisions.
She stated that Africa had witnessed a remarkable growth in recent years, emerging as the world’s second fastest growing economy and attracting the interest of governments and businesses from around the world.
Dr Bediako noted that with digital transformation changing governance, businesses and daily life at an ever-accelerating pace, efficient technology adoption would be the key to leveraging the opportunities.
“In this digital era, geospatial information will be the game-changer since most planning and development is location-based. Better understanding and management of digital location-based data and services integrated with other attribute data can enable more efficient resource allocation for better service delivery,” she added.
Mr Andre Laparriere, Executive Director of Global Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition (GODAN) said the event would demonstrate the impact of technology convergence on the digital economy and society-enabling future-readiness.
He said it would focus on the role and relevance of geospatial information in national development; the business prospects of geospatial information for governments and businesses and the society,
Other areas he listed included; business and consumer benefits of geospatial information; the emerging data-driven business models; and the competitive advantages of robust domestic geospatial markets.
The NDPC, the African Open Data, and Internet Research Foundation, the GODAN, and the Ghana Statistical Services will jointly host the event.