The Department of Operations and Management Information Systems, OMIS, at the University of Ghana Business School, UGBS, took its turn to host the weekly Covid, Business and Society Seminar (COBUSS) Series on 4th June 2020 via zoom. Professor Erkki Sutinen of the University of Turku, Finland, spoke on the topic, “How can the Lessons Learned from the Pandemic Contribute to the Digital Transformation of the Schools of Tomorrow?”. Under the subtopic of “Rethinking the function in society”, Prof. Sutinen stated that schools should train people who are not just productive but also people who can think anew since technology is pushing individuals to break barriers. He continued that this was important so that we do not only use existing information but also create new information. He emphasized that students should be made aware of their responsibility as they are the most important members of the learning community so that they can be more in charge of learning and their curriculum. Moreover, he remarked, technology should be used as a mirror that students can use to monitor their learning progress.
Speaking on “The Role of Information Technology in Pandemic Control and Management”, Dr. Eric Afful Dadzie, a Lecturer with the Department of Operations and Management Information Systems at UGBS, explained some contributions from the area of information technology regarding the ongoing pandemic facing the nations of the world. He stated that it appears that 20th Century technologies have a hand in what is currently happening especially with the spread, which he explained with an illustration. He again averred that the convergence of mobile, wireless, high-speed networks, cloud computing, analytics, and Internet of Things (IoT) technologies have demonstrated, through an enormous array of technologies, how to efficiently manage and control pandemics. He concluded with an explanation of data collection and privacy challenges that individuals may be worried about due to the enormous data collected by the government.
A professor of Operations Management at Quinnipiac University, USA, Prof. Iddrisu Awudu, presented on the topic, “Finding Opportunities in a Storm: The Supply Chain Perspectives”. He began by asserting that amid the healthcare scare and challenges, there are opportunities for all businesses and mankind. Drawing on the supply chain perspective, he explained the various opportunities in agribusiness, education, healthcare, transportation and logistics, financial markets, and international business. Under education, he noted that the pandemic called for a renewed experience for online education for both educators and students. He gave other examples of opportunities such as waste management and seaport business. His final thoughts on the topic were on the theories of emergency management, which are preparedness, mitigation, response, and recovery.
Mr. Gilbert Mombazaa Kpelim-Etime, Senior Radio Access Network (RAN) Engineer at Reliance Personnel Services, spoke on the topic “The Impact of Covid-19 On Radio Access Network Capacity and Operator Interventions Network.” He commenced his presentation with highlights on Covid-19 and an explanation of Radio Access Network as the gateway. He gave operator intervention options such as hardware capacity expansion, software expansion, software upgrades, license capacity expansion, spectrum expansion, traffic balancing and traffic migration.
Dean of the University of Ghana Business School, Professor Justice N. Bawole was the facilitator for the seminar. Question and Answer sessions were held after each speaker presented.
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