US Data Team Visits Ghana

A two-man delegation from the United States Open Government Portal are expected in Ghana for a two-day visit from October 31st to November 2nd, 2012. The visit forms part of the technical support to the Ghana Open Data Initiative (GODI) deployment of the Open Government Platform (OGPL), which was jointly developed by the US and Indian governments. The GODI project seeks to build an open data community bringing together governments, civil society, the media, developers, academia and other key stakeholders to interact through the Ghana Open Data Portal. Mr Eric Akumiah, GODI Project Manager, on Wednesday told the Ghana News Agency in an interview that this would provide a valuable feedback to government to positively influence policy-making, improve government service delivery and create enabling environments for businesses to thrive. He said the team would be in the country to assist the GODI technical team to fine-tune the OGPL. He said the US government, through a consultative process, selected Ghana and Rwanda to be the first developing countries to roll out the platform and had provided all the platform software to the Ghana team. “This agreement was reached during the International Open Government Data Conference in Washington in July this year, attended by the GODI team, led by Mr William Tevie, Director General of National Information Technology Agency,” Mr Akumiah said. He said both parties expressed interest to work together for Ghana to deploy the platform. He explained that the GODI web team had successfully deployed the OGPL for the project and have populated it with demand-driven data sets. Mr Akumiah said the team would help the project create visualizations on the raw data into user-friendly formats on the portal which would make the portal immediately useful to the public once the Beta version is formally launched. “The alpha version of the portal is already up and running and the beta version will be launched on 15 November 2012,” he said. The Beta version would have over 80 government raw data from different ministries, departments and agencies that could be accessible by the general public for analysis and re-use. The full portal, with thousands of demand-focused data, will be launched at the end of the project phase of the initiative by December 2013.