Engineer advocates building smart cities in Ghana

By
Iddi Yire, GNA

Accra, May 31, GNA – With the future
expected to adopt the Smart Cities concept, 
Mrs Carlien Bou-Chedid, a Structural/Earthquake Engineering
Consultant  and the President Elect,
Federation of African Engineering Organisation, has advocated the building of
such cities in the country.

A smart city is an urban area that uses
different types of electronic internet of things sensors to collect data and
then use these data to manage assets and resources efficiently.

This include data collected from citizens,
devices and assets that is processed and analysed to monitor and manage traffic
and transportation systems, power plants, water supply network, waste
management, crime detection, information systems, schools, libraries, hospitals
and other community services,  

“The future is in smart cities, the internet
of things, big data. In smart cities, data will be collected from citizens,
devices, and assets using sensors. Data is already now a most valuable resource
that can be used to achieve several ends,” Mrs Bou-Chedid stated.

She said this in Accra at the launch of the
maiden National Development Forum organised by the National Development
Planning Commission (NDPC), on the theme “Ghana@100: An Agenda Towards a
Solidly Developed Nation”.

The National Development Forum will be a
series of a monthly forum to engage the public on development policy and
promote ownership and accountability for the implementation of national
priorities.

It will focus on topical national issues
about the economy; social development; spatial planning; infrastructure
development; environment; and governance.

Mrs Bou-Chedid noted that big data, which
refers to the use of advanced data analytical methods to extract value from
data, could be used to spot business trends, prevent diseases, combat crime
ensure value for money in procurement.

She said these developments were already in
existence, adding that, business models would change.

“Some jobs will no longer exist in a few
years’ time. Critical thinking will not be a buzz word. It will be necessary
for our very survival.”

Mrs Bou-Chedid said Ghana at hundred would
be a developed country, at least when measured by today’s standards.

“By this I mean that when it is compared to
other countries of today, Ghana will be advanced in terms of its
infrastructure, industrialisation, income per capita and standards of living,”
she said.

“We must however remember that the things
that are considered advanced today may be obsolete tomorrow.”

She pointed out that development was
generally measured against the development of other countries and in this and
current fast-changing world, this means that the goal posts were constantly
shifting.

She said Ghana’s level of development at 100
years would be dependent on the actions Ghanaians take today.

“We will have to decide from now, how we
want to position ourselves in the world of the future so that we can together
take appropriate steps to achieve our goal,” Mrs Bou-Chedid said.

“There is no doubt that our development and
the choices we make will be shaped, especially by developments in science and
technology, and the consciousness that new knowledge brings.”

She noted that whilst the countries of the
past were able to industrialise without worrying too much about the effects it
had on the environment, Ghanaians would have to look for ways that were
friendlier to the environment.

She, however, said things quickly change in
the world but there were certain things that were likely to remain the same at
least for a much longer time.

“We will still need food and water, energy,
means of communication, means of transportation, shelter and sanitation and I
believe these are good starting points for a discussion,” she said.

Mrs Bou-Chedid said to improve the quality
of life for the citizenry there was the need to provide these things.

She said there was no doubt that reaching
the national goal would require collective effort.

“….The goal posts are constantly shifting
and we need to put in our best efforts if we are to catch up with the developed
countries of today.”

“We need to be smart enough to spot the
opportunities presented by new technologies and use these technologies to reach
our goals.”

GNA

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