Microsoft to give NGOs access to cloud computing platform

Microsoft Ghana has announced it will give eligible non-profit and non-governmental organisations in Ghana access to Microsoft Azure, the company’s enterprise-grade cloud computing platform, as part of its “Modern Non-Profit” campaign.

Qualifying NGOs in the campaign, which is part of Microsoft’s ‘Public Cloud for Public good’ initiative, will receive credits for Microsoft Azure that can be renewed annually. The initiative will see Microsoft donate US$1billion in cloud computing resources over the next three years to 70,000 non-profits and NGOs worldwide.

Speaking at a day’s workshop on Ghana’s Digital Journey, organised by Microsoft in collaboration with the Data Protection Commission of Ghana, to mark World Privacy Day, which fell on 28th January, Mr Derek Appiah, General Manager for Microsoft Ghana, said cloud computing, which was widely used, was more advantageous as it was more scalable and efficient.

“It also means that you pay as you use,” he added, explaining that business only needed to have access to the internet to access cloud services. Small businesses, he noted could get the advantages of big businesses without incurring the costs of a big business as they only had to pay for what they used.

“This brings down the cost of doing business which means that you can actually give value to more people,” he stated.

Mr Appiah said Microsoft stressed Microsoft’s commitment to the security of the users of its services, with an annual investment of one billion dollars in ensuring that its platforms were secured.

He stated that Microsoft would continue to partner with the relevant public and private stakeholders to create a framework for cloud computing to Ghana’s digital transformation journey, thus the workshop, which was to discuss a framework on how the cloud could help the economy, individual businesses and individuals and organisations to transform, get value and by that move the country forward.

Mrs Teki Akuetteh Falconer, Executive Director of the Data Protection Commission, told the GNA that the Commission was working to ensure that data controllers complied with the Data Protection Act, 2012 (Act 843).

In line with this, the Commission, she said, would in the coming weeks, release a data protection guide, which sets outs various actionable activities based on the law that institutions must follow to be compliant with the Data Protection law.

She said the Commission would also embark on a compliance audit, based on the institutions’ internal data protection audits, which are required by the law. This, she explained will help the Commission to point out flaws to the controllers and issue guidelines that will help them meet the compliance required standards under the law.

“When we come into your environment and you are not compliant, or you’ve done something that puts at risk the individual, we can stop you from operating until you have the rights standards in place,” she said.

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