Mr. George Akom, an Information Systems Expert and Advocate for Information and Communication Technologies Education, has averred that information technology and systems have become a common good and should  be given the needed attention they deserve to support the daily operations and activities of mankind. He indicated that technological advancement and innovation have created new opportunities for enhancing every facet of human endeavour including disaster resiliency and risk reduction. He added that since the outbreak of the new coronavirus, officially called SARS-CoV-2 that causes COVID- 2019, many developing and developed countries are still seeking for the best alternatives to keep their socio- economic activities alive amidst the current situation of the pandemic. He emphasized that despite all the efforts being put in place to avoid the contracting, spreading and total eradication of the pandemic by all nations through various policies and interventions, socio- economic activities cannot be under estimated, since it has become a factor to the fight against this deadly disease. Mr. Akom re-echoed that it has become evidently clear on how we could leverage on engineering, information and communication technologies and systems to support business operations in different sectors of our socio-economic lives. He bemoaned about how some countries that have been lockdown because of the pandemic are going through difficulties and inconveniences in getting some of their daily activities done at some crucial moments. He continued that the lockdown of educational institutions, some businesses, commercial areas and some other activities requires the best alternative ways in engaging in future existence. “Developments in disruptive technologies – such as cognitive computing and artificial intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT), and Big Data – and innovations in such areas as robotics and drone technology are transforming many fields, including e-learning (online teaching and learning), telecommuting, e-commerce and  business ,e -government, telemedicine ,e-health, disaster risk reduction and management for which all countries should join hands through a joint-effort collaborations to support each other as a means to save the world in such natural disasters as this outbreak, COVID -2019. Nations do not live in isolation, knowledge transfer and sharing in this knowledge economy requires joint effort and shared responsibility from all nations”, Mr. Akom indicated. He stressed that many existing technologies are capable partially to support some activities of human beings in some areas of natural disasters like floods, earthquakes, hurricanes which also have devastating effects on people’s lives, as well as significant economic impact. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development has helped raise awareness of the importance of disaster and emergency management of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals established by the United Nations, for Goals 1, 2, 11 and 13 which refers to the need of nations and communities to address the challenges related to natural hazards and disasters. Mr. George Akom, who is also an Assistant Registrar of the Ghana Technology College has opined that Member States should provide International Telecommunication Union (ITU), with a clear mandate to ensure that all countries are able to take advantage of the opportunities brought by information and communication technologies (ICTs), including new technologies to address the challenges of disasters  and to identify relevant technologies and facilitate the sharing of best practices and applications, to allow countries to benefit from ICTs for disaster risk reduction and management, such as the COVID 2019 and other public health disasters. 
Source: Broadcastergh.com/Ayisah Foster

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