By Musa Kamara
On the official launch of the National Tourism Census Report championed by the Ministry of Tourism and Cultural Affairs (MTCA) in partnership with Statistics Sierra Leone, whilst making her contributions to the first-ever “National Tourism Census Report,” Commissioner Yeama Thompson from the Right to Access Information Commission (RAIC) appealed to all stakeholders on the need for a Multi-Stakeholder Open Data Council to be presided by RAIC and Statistics Sierra Leone and the Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) being the lead at the national level.
She further explained the need for such a Multi-Stakeholder Open Data Council where she cited: “strategic objectives which aims at facilitating data access in an open and participatory process.”
She underscored that the council’s purpose is to also assess government policies and ensures that there is clarity of data through the effective utilization of what she described as, “multi-stakeholder advantage” in accessing information.
She however, submitted also that RAIC has a very huge challenge in quality and real time data for all government policies and programs, and therefore, the need for such Multi-Stakeholder Open Data Council should be considered very timely for a sustainable data infrastructure.
Amongst many other challenges, she stressed on: “huge data deficits and worsen by poor collaboration and partnership to address the data gaps.”
She disclosed that RAIC with support from the World Bank has plans to established priority data sets that are in conjunction with Sierra Leone’s development plan for quality data sets and information.
She further disclosed that RAIC seeks to work with institutions such as the Office of National Security (ONS), MIC, Statistics Sierra Leone and other integral institutions for relevant data protection and much more.