In line with the World Telecommunications and Information Society Day (WTISD) celebrations on May 17, the National Communications Authority (NCA), organised a symposium on the theme “Big Data, Big Impact” at the NCA Tower, Airport City in Accra.
The symposium, which marks the 152nd Anniversary of the signing of the first International Telegraph Convention and the formation of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), aimed at raising awareness of the possibilities that the use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) can bring to societies and economies.
The workshop also aided stakeholders to leverage insights in identifying new opportunities to creatively address sustainable development challenges with regards to big data.
The Board Chairman of the NCA, Mr. Kwaku Sakyi-Addo, in a statement read on behalf of the ITU Secretary General, noted that the insight brought about by this analysis of data will enable evidence-based decision-making at national, regional and international levels and help the implementation of all 17 United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals for 2030. He also stressed that countless opportunities will also be identified as we learn to better perfect and harness big data, and understand the impact big data can have as a global good.
Mr. Sakyi- Addo urged participants to use the occasion to take a closer look at the importance of governance and regulation, as well as the implications for personal privacy and security given the future exponential growth in data and connectivity.
Also present at the symposium was Mad. Cynthia Prah representing the UN Resident Coordinator in Ghana. She reiterated that Big Data can transform communications and that the UN is ready to learn from discussions from the conference.
The Deputy Minister for Communications, Mr. George Andah, indicated that there are calls on government to empower young people to develop ICT tools that improve the experience of health and effective frameworks to protect the use of private data, intellectual property as well as to deter online criminal activity.
The Deputy Minister urged participants to be security conscious in order not to expose our entire behavioural pattern online and take personal interest on who collects their personal data and for what purposes.
He also stated that government has put in place a tier-3 National Data Centre with a 600 rack capacity in anticipation of the need for a reliable storage facility for public and private sector data in a secured environment and urged the private sector to take advantage of the facility to support their operations.
The workshop saw representatives from the Ministry of Communications, Ghana Technology University College, Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER). Ghana Statistical Services, Data Protection Commission, Service Providers from the Communications Industry among others.
A flag raising ceremony was held to climax the celebration, reinforcing a message of inter-national cooperation.
The various topics discussed were related to the theme. The resource persons that were drawn from academia and industry effectively engaged participants present at the symposium.
The theme for WTISD-17, “Big Data for Big Impact”, focuses on the power of Big Data for development and aims to explore how to turn imperfect, complex, often unstructured data into actionable information in a development context.
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