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Ghana Statistical Service launches Academia StatsBank and Hackathon at KNUST

The Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) has launched the innovative Statistical Bank (StatsBank) at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Kumasi.

Known as GSS StatsBank, it’s an online data repository that allows data users to directly access disaggregated data from the 2021 Population and Housing Census.

Held at the school campus on Friday, September 29, 2023, the Ghana Statistical Service also launched the StatsBank Hackathon for the KNUST students.

The Ghana Statistical Service, Statistical Denmark and Denmark Embassy collaborated to develop StatsBank and Hackathon.

The Hackathon requires teams (students) from the university to compete for 36 hours to develop an innovative statistical products primarily using census date from the StatsBank.

The Academia launch of the GSS StatsBank and Hackathon was performed by the Government Statistician, Professor Samuel Kobina Annim.

 He was assisted by the Vice-Chancellor of the KNUST, Prof Rita Akosua Dickson and the Board Chairperson for the Ghana Statistical Service, Dr Grace Bediako.

 Professor Samuel Kobina Annim in his speech on StatsBank the multiple data sources available will help policy makers solve challenges facing the country.

“Bringing together data sets to help solve the complex challenges facing the country, and StatsBank will guide policy decisions while deemphasizing data aggregates,” he said.

He assured that the GSS will provide quality information to the public to help them on policy-decision-making is assisting the country’s development.

Data Scientist at the Ghana Statistical Service Peter Yeltulme Mwinlaaru on the Hackathon, said it’s a competition among university students who are versed in Information Technology (IT).

Peter Yeltulme Mwinlaaru explained that eligible applicants should have advanced skills in at least in data analysis, data visualization, and coding.

The selected universities are the University of Ghana (UG), Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), the University of Development Studies (UDS), the University of Cape Coast (UCC) and the University of Allied Sciences.

The winning team of three students from each of the universities will compete at the National Hachathon scheduled for October 5 and 6, 2023.

Lecturer at the Planning Department at the KNUST, Dr Stephen Takyi, commended the Ghana Statistical Service for the opportunity given to the students to showcase their capabilities.

Dr Takyi who was a mentor and a judge at the Hackathon-KNUST, emphasized the need for government to support such brilliant students with innovative ideas.

He charged other public institutions “to collaborate with other universities to unearth and groom such students for the country’s development”.

Source: Ghana/ Appiah

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