Digital Impact Alliance, a unit of the United Nations (UN) Foundation, has hailed Malawi for its progressive environment within which the organisation is implementing a digital health project to understand population densities and mobility patterns as relates to health outcomes.
Malawi was featured on a big data for social good panel alongside India, Colombia and Brazil at the largest gathering of technology practitioners and stakeholders, Mobile World Congress, in Barcelona, Spain between February 26 2018 and March 1 2018.
Big data is a new field that combines use of multiple data sources to generate insights and analytics across fields. For example, the use of satellite imagery, geospatial, mobile network operator data and routine health systems data has been used to generate insights on management of tuberculosis in India.
Through big data analytics, insights and analytics are generated that the Ministry of Health and other stakeholders in the health sector may find useful in predicting disease outbreaks, deploying timely interventions to disease outbreaks and identifying pockets of underserved communities on health services.
Similar big data initiatives have been implemented in over 200 pilots around the world. In Uganda, for example, big data is being used to predict food security crisis before it happens for entities such as Food and Agricuture Organisation (FAO) to plan ahead for timely intervention.
Speaking on the high spotlight ministerial panel at the World Congress, Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (Macra) director general Godfrey Itaye said “Malawi is committed to advancing the case of using big data for social good to enhance livelihoods in areas of health, education, financial inclusion, and other key sectors of development”.
According to a published press statement made available to Business News, chief executive officer of Digital Impact Alliance, Kate Wilson commended Malawi for her role in progressive regulatory framework on big data.
The Mobile World Congress is the largest gathering of technology players from around the world. Through the congress, large technology companies like Huawei, Samsung, LG and Google also showcase the recent innovations and launch new technology products.
The 5G network concept was the highlight technology at the congress, a leap frog from 4G technology to make Internet faster and reduce the latency speed when using the internet. Interestingly, there were showcases of 5G connected cars. In Malawi, Airtel and TNM only launched 4G internet in the past year. Most of the new technology products launched at the Mobile World Congress are already on the European market and expected world over by end of March 2018.n