Improving Lives Through Tech: ICT4D Conference 2024 to Convene Over 600 Experts in Accra, Ghana

Improving Lives Through Tech
Improving Lives Through Tech

In a world where digital transformation is rapidly reshaping societies, the 12th ICT4D Conference is gearing up to host over 600 technical advisors and senior executives from March 19th to 20th, with training workshops scheduled on March 18th and 21st in Accra, Ghana.

Established in 2010 by the Catholic Relief Services (CRS), the ICT4D Conference is an intellectual platform where local problems find synergy with global digital solutions, taking a front row in revolutionizing the delivery of humanitarian relief and development. “Digital approaches to wicked problems, exploring data innovations for impact, and discussing how to build responsible, sustainable, and locally owned digital foundations” are the three pivotal themes driving discussions at this year’s conference.

With rising temperatures and droughts causing concerns about food insecurity, the 12th ICT4D Conference provides a platform for sharing ideas and experiences on leveraging digital technologies and data to combat climate change and its related issues. In a statement signed by E. Maaweh Tanga, Communications Manager at Catholic Relief Services and Media & Marketing Manager for the ICT4D Conference, the theme ‘Digital to Tackle Wicked Problems’ theme will showcase how digital approaches are being employed to tackle global challenges while ensuring that digital transformations do not exacerbate existing inequalities.

Mr. Tanga added that “this theme spotlights critical areas such as food security and agriculture; climate change adaptation and mitigation; digital health, among others.” Foreign Service Officer for USAID, Joshua Templeton, will present a case study on utilizing Artificial Intelligence (AI) to mitigate the impacts of climate change, soil degradation, and food insecurity.

In the area of health, representatives from Tai Tanzania, the African Health Innovation Centre, and Mumble will share insights on health innovations with a strong focus on digital health, covering topics such as systems strengthening and integrated health systems. In addition, Ghana’s pioneering use of medical drones for blood transportation within the country serves as a noteworthy example, highlighting technology’s potential to revolutionize healthcare accessibility.

Also on the list of priority areas for discussion are the burning issues of poverty and hunger, the conference will explore critical subjects such as food security and agriculture, youth engagement and employment, digital inclusion, and digital cash. These strongly align with Kathryn Clinton’s and Austen Moore’s presentation on how CRS is deploying machine learning to bolster resilience and address food insecurity.

The Vice President of the Republic of Ghana, H.E. Dr Mahamudu Bawumia will deliver the keynote address. Nicknamed, “Mr. Digitalisation” by his boss – the President – H.E. Nana Akufo-Addo, the VEEP is expected to chronicle Ghana’s admirable story of digital transformation across sectors. This will set the tone for this year’s event which is heavy on localization, as he is expected to showcase practical examples of locally grown digital solutions that are said to be pivotal in meaningfully impacting Ghana’s public sector.

The Ministry of Communication and Digitalization is the official Government of Ghana partner for the 2024 ICT4D Conference.

Conclusion: Shaping the Future of ICT4D

The conference, which boasts over 80 sessions covering diverse topics such as generative AI, digital health, and locally-led digital transformation, will witness exciting announcements, including the unveiling of the revised Principles for Digital Development by the Digital Impact Alliance (DIAL), aimed at guiding practitioners in integrating best practices into technology-enabled programs for enhanced effectiveness and sustainability.

Sponsored by The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Bixal, DataKind, Esri, NetHope, RedRose, Sahaj, Microsoft, USAID, ActivityInfo, Element22, GeniusTags, Bluesquare, and the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE), among others, this year’s conference promises engaging discussions, interactive workshops, and real-world case studies demonstrating the tangible benefits of digital solutions and how stakeholders can collectively work towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of eradicating poverty, ending hunger, climate change mitigation, promoting access to health, peacebuilding, and sustainable development by 2030.

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