Ghana to use data science to boost national development

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Professor Samuel K. Annim
Professor Samuel K. Annim

Ghana will deepen the use of data science in public policy formulation and implementation to boost the attainment of national development aspirations, a senior official said Friday.

Samuel Annim, Government Statistician, said this at the celebration of African Statistics Day, adding that in a digital economy, data science offered more opportunities for accurate data on the needs and aspirations of the people.

Unlike surveys and censuses that use representative samples, Annim said data science would help collect data on people’s regular routines and follow the same sets of people over a long period to identify their developmental needs, vulnerabilities, and characteristics.

“For instance, if you link your vehicle registration number with your telephone number and ATM card with wherever you shop, we can link all this data to understand your mobility and expenditure patterns. That will enable the government to target you based on accurate knowledge of your characteristics,” said Anim.

“Data science will help us get more regular data on people’s living conditions and follow the same people more regularly. So policy targeting will address the first Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) on ending poverty because it is based on your characteristics rather than on samples to represent characteristics,” he told Xinhua.

He said the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) had initiated the process of inter-sector collaboration on the new direction to harmonize public sector data to inform public policy and interventions.

“As data science drives policy formulation and implementation, we can achieve the SDGs and report on them accurately,” added Annim.

The statistician further urged Ghanaians accurately use data from the GSS in their research and decision-making process. Enditem

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