Business News of 2014-07-22

Penplusbyte develops oil and gas citizens digital platform

The International Institute of ICT journalism, (Penplusbytes) is partnering Africa Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP) to develop a digital platform that will enable citizens participates in the oversight role of monitoring the oil and gas sector.
This is to help Ghana to avoid the risk of mismanaging its new oil find just like its gold and other minerals, a release signed by Mr Jeremiah Sam, Programmes Director of Penplusbytes and copied to Ghana News Agency said on Monday. It said the partnership forms the online component of activities in the project: “Improving Transparency in Ghana’s gas and oil sector” with technical support and funding from DFID.
The project aims at improving transparency in the management of Ghana’s oil and gas resources through active participation of citizens and relevant stakeholders. It also seeks to reduce the risk of mismanagement through fiscal accountability, contract transparency other regulatory frameworks.
The online platform would be the tool to carry citizens along on the happenings in the governance of the oil sector. The project is expected to facilitate citizen’s participation in spending decision through; two-way interactive SMS messages, mailing list, mobile app, interactive voice response systems (IVR), mobile apps and integrated with social media all geared toward meeting the citizens where they are and which platform they are comfortable to use to ensure greater participation.
During the signing of the partnership, Mr Kwami Ahiabenu II, President of Penplusbytes said his institute’s’ rich experience in applying technology to enable citizens participate in decision making process backed by in-country experiences from Ghana, Uganda, Liberia, and Tanzania, would ensure the development of an online platform that would take into consideration the needs of citizens.
It would also offer the development of a user-friendly application that would project the concerns of citizens while at the same time solicit feedback from duty bearers for greater advocacy.
Dr Mohammed Amin, Executive Director of ACEP said “we are excited to work with Penplusbytes on this project, since they are a lead organization in developing tools and applications that promote citizen participation in governance and we believe their vast experience in deploying new digital technologies for citizen engagement combined with ACEP’s research and advocacy capabilities will help the project in achieving it ultimate objective of citizens’ participation. Penplusbytes is one key organisation which understands technology and governance to help us achieve project goals”.
Source: GNA
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