GHANA’S DIGITAL transformation has largely been undertaken without foreign aid, Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia has stated.
Speaking recently in Accra during a public lecture, the Vice President said Government, rather, has partnered with the Ghanaian IT private sector to finance the various initiatives rather than a wholly public sector exercise.
Explaining Government’s preference for courting the private sector in the digitisation project, he explained “It was a deliberate decision to do so because the private sector and the public sector have different incentives. The private sector makes money when systems they manage work otherwise they will go out of business.”
“This is why we have deliberately partnered with the private sector to undertake all the major digitisation projects such as national ID card, digital address system, mobile money interoperability, ghana.gov, mobile tax filing application, common platform for property tax administration, digitization of the hospitals, medical records, passport office, paperless ports and drone delivery system, among others.”
The Vice President continued that “We are also going to formalise the agricultural sector by registering all cocoa farmers and their farms as well as labelling the cocoa from each farm to enable tracing. The work is about 40% complete. We will do same for food crop farmers and digitise fertiliser distribution by the middle of next year. We are also going to formalise the fisheries sector by registering all fishermen and digitise pre-mix fuel distribution to our fishermen.”
He furthermore said the operations of the school feeding programme were also being digitised to enhance its efficiency as well as facilitate monitoring adding that work on this would be completed by the end of this year.
The Way Forward
“Having put together these large databases as a result of digitisation, our focus would now turn inter alia to data analytics through big data, artificial intelligence, machine learning to provide solutions to many challenges we face. We will leverage on the progress we have made with digitalisation to drive innovation for the youth.
“We are leapfrogging in many areas (because we do not have legacy systems like the advanced countries) but unfortunately, sometimes our mindset does not allow us to believe that we can be among the best in the world at anything,” the Vice President asserted.