The Africa Open Data and Internet Research Foundation (AODIRF) says the use of geospatial information and technology is very critical for achieving the 2030 agenda for sustainable development.
Mr Wisdom Donkor, President of AODIRF said the African Geospatial Data and Internet Conference (AGDIC) slated for October in Accra would bring to the fore the important role of geospatial information in development agenda, including sustainable development goals.
Geospatial information, also known as location information, is information describing the location and names of features beneath, on or above the earth's surface.
Mr Donkor noted that with digital transformation changing governance, businesses and daily life at an ever accelerating pace, efficient technology adoption would be key to leverage these opportunities.
He said in this digital era, geospatial information would be the game changer since most planning and development was location based.
Mr Donkor made these remarks in his presentation during a media engagement in Accra, as part of preparations towards the hosting of AGDIC.
The Conference slated for 22nd to 24th October, is on the theme: "Shaping Africa's Digital Future".
It is being organised by AODIRF in collaboration with Global Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition, National Development Planning Commission, Ghana Statistical Service and Geospatial Media and Communications (GMC), India.
Mr Donkor, who is the Convenor for the African Geospatial Data and Internet Conference, said better understanding and management of digital location-based data and services integrated with other attribute data could enable more efficient resource allocation for better service delivery.
He stated that the maiden edition of the conference would bring together various stakeholder groups across Africa and the world to set the agenda on Africa's digital future leveraging geospatial, open data, ICTs and internet technologies in Africa.
Mr Donkor said there would be submission of abstract, adding that "the public can register as participants by visiting www.afrigeocon.org".
Mr Prashant Joshi, President of GMC also noted that with the extremely bullish socio-economic outlook about Africa, there was no doubt that it was time for the geospatial ecosystem in the continent to take the next leap forward.
He said the positive approach of new technology adoption without being burdened by old legacy systems augurs well for the new technology advancements.
Mr Joshi recounted that geospatial technology offered a great potential for Africa to leverage the great opportunities ahead; makes its well-deserved mark in the world economy and emerge as a preferred destination to live and work.
Speaking to the Ghana News Agency Mr Eric Akumiah, Chairman, 2019 AGDIC Local Organising Committee, said as part of the Open Data Initiative, government was trying to put together policies that would help ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) release data in readable formats.
He said this would help make value out of the data, especially from the demand side of the ecosystem, mostly developers and civil society organisations.
Mr Akumiah, who is also a data expert working on the E-Transform Project, which is seeking to revamp open data initiative, told GNA that the synergies between the E-transform and the forthcoming conference; was focusing on trying to make data available for use in developing applications.
He was hopeful that the Conference would bring lots of capacity for Ghanaians especially the demand side of ecosystem, however, for the supply side there would be lots of capacity building in addition to already what the project was doing.