The World Bank has observed that a closer look at the facets of Ghana’s data governance framework, including access to data infrastructure policies to ensure equitable access to data, data policy, regulatory, legal frameworks, legal enablers, and safeguards indicates that opportunities and challenges remain to be addressed.
All these efforts, it said, are geared towards enabling the use and reuse of data to create economic and social value, promote equitable opportunities to create benefit from data, and foster citizens’ trust that they would not be harmed by misuse of the data they provide.
Ghana, according to the Bank, would be able to develop a social contract with citizens as it relates to data if they are able to further strengthened their infrastructure and skills to capture data and turn them into value; the scale and agency to participate equitably in global data markets and their governance, institutional and regulatory frameworks to create trust in data systems.
Speaking at the World Development Report 2021: Data for Better Lives country dissemination workshop in Accra, Mr. Patrick M. Mullen, the Acting County Director of the World Bank said to ensure a multistakeholder- based approach to establishing a data governance framework, it was also crucial to create a platform for collaboration and continuous dialogues between various stakeholders and data users in Ghana with this dissemination workshop as the first step.
Ghana, he said, needed to develop alternative methods to collect and analyze data to continue to not only measure trends but also develop data-driven policies to meet their ambitious poverty reduction goals.
Mr. Mullen however stated that in order to do this, the country needed to develop the infrastructure, skills, governance, and institutional and regulatory frameworks to not only develop these systems but also public trust in the said systems.
Mrs. Usula Owusu-Ekuful, the Minister for Communications and Digitalisation in her delivery said the Government of Ghana is making frantic efforts to set up vibrant analytic platforms to analyze and leverage big data for the benefit of the country.
She, therefore, called on big tech companies operating in Ghana and other parts of Africa to share part of their profits with their host government for reinvestment into productive sectors of those countries.
Commenting on the report via video, World Bank’s Chief Economist and Vice President for infrastructure, Ms. Vivien Foster said given the global scale of data industries, some of the most challenging aspects of the social contract called for closer international cooperation to harmonize regulations and coordinate policies whether on a bilateral, regional or global level, adding that increase data use and reuse to realize greater value.
Using data for one purpose, she opined, does not diminish their value noting that increasing access to more users through open data and data sharing initiatives, for example, increases the potential of data for positive development impacts.
The World Development Report 2021: Data for Better Lives explores the tremendous potential of the changing data landscape to improve the lives of poor people, while also acknowledging its potential to open back doors that can harm individuals, businesses and societies.