The African Development Bank and the Korea-Africa Economic Cooperation (KOAFEC) Trust Fund have funded a Database Management System (DBMS) to improve the operations and functions of the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) of Ghana. The system will enable the commission to improve its regulatory functions by improving its ability to collect, analyse and monitor data for utility regulations.
Speaking at the virtual launch of the system held on 30th June 2021, Ghana's Minister of Communication and Digitalisation, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful said smart use of data could have a transformative effect on the work of the Commission and create new opportunities for addressing challenges in the sector.
"Our ability to process, analyse and be innovative with the data we generate is therefore critical and I am happy to note that capacity building is a key component of the investment we are launching today."
The system comes with unique features such as geotagging, which allows territorial trending and analysis of complaints from both utilities and consumers and facilitates deployment of territory-specific and targeted solutions to address them. The solution includes a robust and comprehensive integration system as well as a mobile app for consumers to use for complaint management, tracking, as well as public education and awareness creation.
PURC Executive Secretary Mami Dufie Ofori said she was proud to note that the establishment of the new system was also in line with the overall digitization agenda of the government, which is aimed at boosting the efficiency and effectiveness of doing business in Ghana for accelerated socio-economic development.
Lim Jung-taek, the South Korean Ambassador to Ghana, praised the initiative and indicated the project is a step for Korea to share its economic development experience with African countries. "The PURC has played a critical role in supporting Ghana's electrification goals by providing clear monitoring. The DBMS will further allow the PURC to function more effectively and strengthen energy regulation by eliminating manual data storage and processing system", he added.
Also commending the initiative in remarks read on his behalf, Dr. Kevin Kariuki, Vice President for Power, Energy, Climate Change and Green Growth at the African Development Bank underscored the Bank's steadfast support to African member countries to improve the quality and effectiveness of energy regulation, as well as to create an enabling environment to foster increased private investment in the energy sector.
"Through its flagship Electricity Regulatory Index for Africa, the Bank has cumulatively assessed the regulatory frameworks of over 40 different African countries, identified regulatory bottlenecks and formulated bespoke solutions to address them. The execution of the DBMS initiative is therefore part of the Bank's efforts to implement recommendations of the ERI in member countries," Dr Kariuki stated.
Amba Mpoke-Bigg, Communication and External Relations Department, African Development Bank, email: firstname.lastname@example.org