General News of Friday, 21 July 2017
Government has given assurance that it would see to the passage of the much-awaited Right To Information (RTI) Bill.
President Akufo-Addo, who gave the assurance, said, “It is the intention of government also to ensure the long overdue passage of the Right To Information Bill by parliament.”
This was when he addressed the 2017 Africa Open Data Conference in Accra yesterday.
His comments immediately attracted a loud and spontaneous applause from participants, drawn from across the African continent.
It was under the auspices of the Ministry of Communications and the National Information Technology Agency (NITA).
President Akufo-Addo expressed the hope that as the continent seeks to identify key issues relating to the access and use of open data, engagement among business, media, government, civil society and the general public would be deepened.
It is anticipated that these engagements would help promote the development and harmonization of data content across the continent.
He has since welcomed partnership and technical assistance across the continent.
“Ghana, and indeed Africa, welcomes partnerships and technical assistance from our friends and open data industry leaders in our quest to develop effective and efficient open data systems,” he underscored.
With regard to countries that have not yet started on the path of open data, the president had this message for them, “I will urge them to start before they are left out in the emerging digital society.”
In the meantime, he indicated that government is addressing data gab; building the administrative data system, strengthening censuses and surveys and pioneering the uses of new types of data.
It is also encouraging data use; creating an interactive feedback loop between producers and users whiles making data more available, providing training in key areas and demonstrating the potential of data to achieve development outcomes and strengthening the data echo system.
According to him, government is equally coordinating the establishment of strategic partnership, creating a harmonized policy and an enabling environment.
The implementation of these recommendations, the president said, is driving the country’s open data initiative as the government works towards achieving the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).