Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, the vice president, has reaffirmed his belief in the crucial part that technology plays in the transformation of economies in the twenty-first century.
The Vice President, who is credited with leading Ghana’s ongoing digital transformation drive, spoke on Monday at the launch of the Ghana Electronic Pharmacy Platform (ePharmacy), Africa’s first national-scale ePharmacy, in Accra. He emphasized the importance of the global digital economy and said that nations that do not embrace it will fall behind.
The findings show that the global digital economy is $11.5 trillion (15.5 percent of GDP). Dr. Bawumia cited the S12.6 billion global cocoa market as evidence for the necessity for developing nations like Ghana to give digitalization top priority.
Some people, according to Dr. Bawumia, believe that economic progress can only be attained via the use of physical structures. He disagreed, pointing out that technological advancement and the implementation of systems are also necessary for economic transformation.
“Brick and mortar alone cannot change an economy. An economy can only be transformed by ideas, systems, and institutions. said Dr. Bawumia.
“We are concentrating on these concepts, systems, and institutions because of this.”
Assertions that he has ceased addressing economic difficulties and is just focusing on the digitalization of the economy were laughed off by the vice president, who added that those making these claims are unaware of the close connection between digitalization and contemporary economies.
“People will say oh you’re not doing economics. But your economy cannot function in the 21st Century if you don’t have the systems and institutions. That is why we are focusing on building all of these systems; the digital platforms as we go forward in the 21st Century,” the Vice President said, adding that the country’s on-going digitalization drive, has significantly boosted efficiency and revenue at some digitalized government agencies, and also restricting many corrupt practices.
The fact that the fourth industrial revolution is a digital revolution is what piques our interest in digitalization as a government. By using digital platforms to solve problems, “digitalization allows us to eliminate bureaucracy and corruption in the delivery of public services, boosts efficiency, lowers the cost of doing business, and makes life easier for Ghanaians,” he stated.
Despite all of this, according to Dr. Bawumia, “those with the minds of impossibilities” have cast doubt on each and every digital initiative the government has launched.
People claimed he was lying when he introduced several of the advances he named, but they have since been put into use and are being used by Ghanaians.
“There are, however, many, who refuse to understand the importance of digitalization to our economic transformation. Therefore, they will mock any new innovation. They mocked the digital address system, they mocked the mobile money interoperability because they did not understand when we said that when we bring mobile money interoperability, every adult Ghanaian would be able to have a bank account. Today, with mobile money interoperability, 90% of adult Ghanaians have at least either a mobile money account or a bank account and the two are interoperable, they are basically working like the same, so we have achieved that objective.”
“They do not realise that through the Ghanacard, we have been able to increase the proportion of Ghanaians with Tax Identification Numbers from 4% when we cane into office to 85% to.”
“People did not understand why the Ghanacard, certified by ICAO, could be used as a travel document and they mocked the idea. Today, it is a reality and our diasporans can use the Ghanacard and travel to Ghana without a visa.”
“People did not believe when we launched Ghana Pay, to make Ghana the first country in the world to have a bank-wide mobile money wallet. Usually it is the telcos who issue mobile money wallet.”
“People struggled to comprehend the usage of a zip line medical drone service to transport life-saving medical supplies. They made an effort to persuade people that drones should be used to photograph women in restrooms. Ghana currently operates the world’s largest drone delivery service.
“Unfortunately, those in government who work to move our nation forward are up against a mindset that only sees obstacles; a mindset that won’t accept that an African nation like Ghana can lead the globe in embracing digital technology.
“This is why I enjoy proving the skeptics wrong all the time. Usually, when I say we are going to do this, they say he is lying. And when it comes, they keep quiet. Ultimately, we must all remember that you cannot transform an economy with just brick and mortar. You can only transform an economy with ideas, systems and institutions. Not just brick and mortar.”
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