ACCRA, Africa’s advancement and sustainable development will materialise when it leverages on the vast and integrated opportunities offered by the employment of information and data, says President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo of Ghana.

The significant changes which have been recorded by most developed countries cane be traced to Information Communication Technology (ICT), he adds, stressing the need for Africa to key into the data and technology revolution to improve the living standards of its peoples.

If we are to succeed in improving the living standards of our people, a critical piece of this puzzle has to be the availability and use of information and data, President Akufo-Addo said at the opening of the two-day 2017 Africa Open Data Conference here Thursday.

More than 800 delegates from all over Africa are attending the event which is expected to push for greater utilization of Open Data to achieve and improve the development goals of Africa across all sectors. Open data is information accessible to anyone and a growing global resource with potential to grow businesses, improve the quality of government business, and increase innovations in healthcare, education, transportation, energy, extractive industries, agriculture, gender equality and economic growth.

The conference will enable networking and connect delegates to sources of support and introduce investors and donors to expanding sectors in need of open data from across the globe.

President Akufo-Addo, who noted the multi-dimensional changes which have taken place in emerging economies as a result of those countries making data open, insisted that in emulating their examples, African nations should ensure that data was made available for potential users.

He added that for Africa to harness the potential of Open Data, there was a need to educate and improve the data literacy of its people, and encourage innovations on how, when and what data are collected and shared so that they are up to date, disaggregated and relevant to the concerns of people and policy makers”.