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On 22 May, Microsoft Ghana, the Accra Metropolitan Assembly and the Global Alliance of Mayors and Leaders from Africa and African Descent signed an agreement to make the city of Accra in Ghana Africa’s first “Centre of Excellence”. This will be done through the use of Microsoft’s CityNext applications, making the city healthier, safer and more modern
The deal came days before the Fourth World Summit of Mayors and Leaders from Africa and of African Descent which will take place from 1 to 3 June 2015 in Accra.
“Our collaboration is an excellent example of how private partnerships can help shape Africa’s development and we believe that Accra’s example will motivate cities all over Africa and the world to emulate our example,” says Alfred Vanderpuije, Accra’s mayor.
Microsoft CityNext applications make use of the power of Microsoft’s cloud, big data, mobile and social technologies to put a city’s people first. Microsoft Cloud will be used to exploit their ideas, energy, and expertise to create a desirable and more sustainable place to inhabit.
“Cities and their people are the hearts and souls of our nations. Ghana’s urbanisation rate matches that of the world’s with over 50 percent of the population living in urban areas. This presents opportunities for modernising aging infrastructure and meeting the demands for natural resources, from leveraging massive amounts of data from devices to improving the health and safety of citizens,” says Derek Appiah, Microsoft Ghana Country Manager.
The benefits for the city of Accra are numerous. The biggest being the ability of Cloud computing to provide cross collaboration, meaning that departments can collaborate and share resources. This drastically reduces the scale of operation across departments, allowing Accra to reduce its costs without cutting essential services.
Microsoft’s CityNext applications will result in smooth running judicial and municipal processes, while enabling civic leaders to provide citizen based services that enable people to directly engage and interact with their city governments.
“With Big Data and analytics, city leaders can gain real-time insights from multiple data sources, such as traffic cameras, social media and other public channels, to make more accurate decisions,” The statement reads.
The Microsoft will be providing with cloud computing platform for the Accra Metropolitan Assembly and a number of other applications for the city of Accra. Some of the responsibilities will include a full evaluation of TeleHealth, a comprehensive e-Skills and Digital Literacy Program and technical guidance to help Accra accelerate its cloud computing solutions.
Image by jbdodane via Flickr