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AfricaMoney | June 28, 2017

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Microsoft CityNext applications transform Accra into Africa’s first ‘Centre of Excellence’

Microsoft CityNext applications transform Accra into Africa’s first ‘Centre of Excellence’

Ghana’s capital Accra signed a contract with Microsoft Ghana to provide ground-breaking applications for a healthier, safer and modern city that puts people first. (Image: Company)

This Friday 22 May witnessed Microsoft Ghana, the Accra Metropolitan Assembly and the Global Alliance of Mayors and Leaders from Africa and African Descent sign an agreement to make the city of Accra healthier, safer and modern.

Under the partnership, Microsoft will provide an enabling cloud computing platform for the Accra Metropolitan Assembly and a number of ground-breaking applications for the City of Accra. These include a full evaluation of TeleHealth for the City of Accra to seek ways in which technology can play the most impactful role in the remote provision of clinical services.

Additionally, a comprehensive e-Skills and Digital Literacy Program will be delivered to facilitate digital readiness skills together with technical guidance to help Accra accelerate its cloud computing solutions as part of its e-citizen initiative, and in support of its e-health programme.

Microsoft CityNext applications utilise the power of Microsoft’s Cloud, Big Data, mobile and social technologies to put a city’s people first – harnessing their ideas, energy, and expertise to create a healthier, safer and more sustainable place. The applications streamline judicial and municipal processes, while enabling civic leaders to provide citizen-centric services that enable people to directly engage and interact with their city governments.

Cloud computing provides cross-departmental collaboration and resource sharing and its scalability and cost-effectiveness means that cities can reduce costs without cutting essential services. 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.

“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% 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,” said DerekAppiah, Microsoft Ghana Country Manager.

The agreement comes days before the Fourth World Summit of Mayors and Leaders from Africa and African Descent and serves to motivate the 300 mayors attending to follow in Accra’s footsteps where private sector partnerships will be a significant dimension of the Summit, exemplified by the agreement with Microsoft, one of the world’s leading technology companies.

“The goal of the partnership is to drive both the adoption and success of this Centre of Excellence in the city of Accra, and then to use it as a case study to foster the development of other Centre’s in the region and across the Global Alliance of Mayors,” says DjibrilDiallo, Chairman and CEO, African Renaissance & Diaspora Network; and Senior Adviser to the Executive Director Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS representing the Global Alliance.

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