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The President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has given the assurance that his government will ensure the passage of the Right To information Bill (RTI) by Parliament.


President Akufo-Addo said the passage of the Bill into law would encourage citizens to hold government accountable and ensure greater transparency in governance.


He was speaking at the Africa Open Data Conference in Accra, Thursday.


He disclosed that his government had begun the implementation of recommendations made at the Forum on Ghana Road Map for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in April 2017 which sought to enable Ghana monitor the progress of attainment of the SDG goals.


The recommendations, he said, included addressing data gaps; building the administrative data system, strengthening census and surveys and pioneering the use of new types of data, and encouraging data use i.e., creating an interactive feedback loops between producers and users.


The others, the President said, were making data more available, providing training in key areas, demonstrating the potential of data to achieve development outcomes and strengthening data ecosystems; co-ordinating the establishment of strategic partnership and creating a harmonized policy and enabling environment.


President Akufo-Addo noted that 2017 had been a year of great expectations and promise for Africa adding, "it’s been a year of dramatic changes and consolidation in the governance landscape of Africa.”


More also than any other period, he said, in the history of Africa, democracy and freedom were providing the appropriate political, social and economic platform for Africa's long awaited development."


The President noted also that for the first time in West Africa, all 15 member states of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) had democratically elected governments in place.


This development, he said, had boosted the confidence of some of them that democracy, freedom, progress and prosperity were what would define Africa's 21st century.


President Akufo-Addo said the availability and use of information and data was a critical component for Africa to succeed in improving the living standard of its people.


He noted that Ghana signed onto the open data government partnership in 2011 which declared open data as a focus area in order to achieve transparent and accountable governance, and that in 2012, the country embarked on its open data journey to create a community of data suppliers and uses.


The President said Ghana's goal to adopt the international open data charter would ensure that government's data was easily accessible. 


Source: ISD (Rex Mainoo Yeboah)