COVID-19 outbreak has emphasized why Gov’t must boost data availability – Andani
Alhassan Andani - MD, Stanbic Bank
The Managing Director of Stanbic Bank, Alhassan Andani has stated that the COVID-19 pandemic has emphasized the importance of technology and the need to prepare for significant disruption to lives especially in terms of work.
According to him, the global crises have exposed the need for the government to develop and adopt new technologies and provide ubiquitous, affordable internet connectivity to ensure an effective provision of services in the country.
He made this known while speaking in an interview on Wednesday, May 13, 2020.
“The other thing we are leaving out is ICT. We are working from home and COVID-19 is going to change the way we work, so what has to be commonplace now is data availability. It shouldn’t be that because you are in Bolga, you don’t have data to work. So what we should be looking to do at a national level is to provide that kind of facility across the country; wherever you are, you have strong internet to work from home, trade with people in Ghana and outside of Ghana. So those are the basic things you have to look at,” he pointed out.
He has also called on the government to put in place, the needed infrastructure to cater for those in the rural areas, as they have been grappling with little or no internet connectivity.
The outbreak of the coronavirus in the country has witnessed a sudden increase in data usage due to the partial lockdown instituted earlier and the enforcement of social distancing measures as people were compelled to either stay at home or work from home.
The situation has not been any different in the educational sector as school authorities have also resorted to using platforms such as Zoom video conference among others to keep up with academic work over the closure of schools.
Again, there has also been a proliferation of many church services using online platforms following the closure of churches as the government has banned social gatherings including religious activities.
Data usage on the rise due to COVID-19 stay home protocol – MTN Ghana CEO
In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic in the country, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of MTN Ghana, Selorm Adadevoh, has indicated that data consumption in Ghana shot up by about 20 per cent after the country recorded cases of the coronavirus outbreak.
He associated this to the increasing number of people working from home as the key reason responsible for the rise in data usage.
“Every day there is a change, it depends on really what’s happening, but somewhere between 15 and 20 per cent will be a fair estimate of the increase we are seeing so far across the board,” he said.
Other use of technology
On April 23, 2020, the Economic Community of West African State (ECOWAS) after a virtual meeting among its leaders have appointed Nigeria’s president, Muhammadu Buhari as ‘Champion’ to coordinate the response to COVID-19 in the sub-region.
These are some measures taken to ensure the continuous use of technology in the wake of a global pandemic.