A team of technology experts and entrepreneurs in hardware and software have met in Accra to develop a software to help oil and gas revenue management in Ghana.
The team has 48 hours to produce a software to provide solutions to health and environment-related issues in the oil and gas industry.
They are also expected to provide solutions to issues of policy regulation and revenue management in oil and gas.
Dubbed, �Hack4oil to drive innovation in oil management,� the software is expected to be developed in the form of sms alerts on mobile devices and tablets, as well as mobile applications, audios and visuals, for downloads to help citizens acquire knowledge in oil revenue management, from exploration to the final stage.
The two-day event, known as the hackathon and has attracted a team of experts in software development who proffer solutions through the development of a software, was put together by Penplusbytes, an organisation involved in the training of journalists in Information and Communications Technology (ICT).
It was supported by Star-Ghana, in partnership with the Africa Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP) and the Natural Resource Governance Institute (NGRI).
Explaining how the experts would be able to reach their targets, the President and Director of Penplusbytes, Mr Kwami Ahiabenu II, said stakeholders in the oil and gas sector would put across a problem in the sector and task the experts to develop a software that would be able to solve that challenge.
Even though Mr Ahiabenu admitted that many fora and seminars had been organised for the citizens� active participation in the management of the country�s oil and gas, the output had not been encouraging.
He, therefore, stated that the development of a software would help in the better management of the country�s blossoming oil and gas sector, noting that it would call for much citizens� participation through the various forms of media.
He added that through technology, innovative ideas and much support could be garnered as a way of enhancing citizens� engagement, government�s accountability and resource transparency.
�The hackathon is, therefore, in direct response to a more general consensus by the government, civil society organisations (CSOs), journalists and citizens to take critical steps at ensuring widened opportunities for public participation in decision making with regard to oil and gas exploitation,� he added.
One of the adjudicators at the programme, who came from the Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology, Mrs Ekua Odoom, said technology was under-used in the field of oil and gas.
She indicated that with the development of software applications, citizens would be able to track every bit and piece of information in the oil and gas revenue management.
The experts, who were grouped into various sessions, were guided by mentors and stakeholders during the development process.
It is expected that the top three teams or groups will receive prizes, a two-month mentoring process and the necessary resources to develop a full-scale product.
Source: Graphic Online
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