America based company, International Business Machines (IBM), has presented a whitepaper for the technological transformation of the Accra Metropolis to Dr Alfred Okoe Vanderpuije, Chief Executive of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA).

International Business Machines, established over 100 years ago, provides information technology (IT) products and services worldwide.

The whitepaper, titled: ?A Vision for Smarter Growth: an IBM Smarter Cities Report on Accra? highlights how to use technology to transform key urban systems.

It identifies three key findings namely; Revenue Collection, Transportation and Energy as areas which needed to be addressed for the betterment of Accra.

On revenue collection, IBM recommended the use of mobile payment systems to enable AMA officials to easily identify cases of under tax payment or fraud.

On transportation, the report recommended for smart and networked traffic lights to ease the flow of traffic.

?Example by using Big Data Technology to analyze mobile phone data, city officials could gain a clearer view on how people move around within the city and how the existing transportation systems could be enhanced,? the report said.

On energy, it identified that Accra was challenged by issues of load shedding and blackout adding that diversifying energy sources from Ghana?s current 77 per cent reliance on hydro?electricity would improve supply as well as the establishment of new commercial enterprises.

?Smart metres and smart grids can help to reduce the strain on existing resources and enable businesses and energy providers to save money and generate additional revenue,? the report said.

The report also cited city services such a refuse collection, water provision and sanitation as being essential for Accra?s urban reforms.

At the Document Presentation Ceremony
At the Document Presentation Ceremony in Accra

The General Manager of IBM Ghana, Joe Mensah said his outfit was undertaking similar projects across the globe.

He noted that the company had all the needed expertise and the technical knowhow to fully execute the requirements in the report.

The Head IBM Research Africa, Dr Kamal Bhattacharya also stated that IBM collaborated with policy makers to address challenges faced by cities on the African continent through commercially viable innovations that improved people?s lives.

He said IBM started operating in Africa 60 years ago and recognized the potential impact of research and smarter systems in transforming business, government, and society across the continent.

Pa Lamin Beyai, Economic Advisor, United Nations Development Programme, called for the implementation of appropriate measures to ensure that people in Africa lived decent lifestyles.

He noted that people had often been branded criminals due to the poor conditions under which they lived.

Receiving the report, Dr Okoe Vanderpuije expressed confidence in the activities of IBM and pledged its commitment to adopt recommendations in the report.

He called for major attitudinal change for Ghanaians in an effort to support the Assembly?s quest to transform the city of Accra.

?I would appeal to all not to shy away but to report to the appropriate authorities when you find out someone is deliberately breaking the rules or doing the wrong thing,? he said.

He said from June 1, 2013, the AMA would start to prosecute all institutions including state owned ones for owing the Assembly.

Source: GNA


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