You can only transform an economy with ideas, with systems, Bawumia
Dr Bawumia lists digitalisation achievement
The Vice-President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, has rubbished claims suggesting that economic development can only be achieved through brick and mortar.
According to him, the country can only experience economic development by adopting technology and putting in place the right systems and ideas.
“You cannot transform an economy with just brick and mortar. You can only transform an economy with ideas, with systems, and with institutions,” he said. “This is why we are focusing on these ideas, systems, and institutions,” asaaseradio.com quoted the vice president
Speaking at the launch of the Ghana Electronic Pharmacy Platform (ePharmacy) – Africa’s first national-scale ePharmacy in Accra on Monday, Bawumia said Digitalisation helps us to reduce bureaucracy and corruption in the delivery of public services
“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.
“Our interest as government in digitalisation stems from the fact that the 4th Industrial Revolution is a digital revolution. Digitalisation helps us to reduce bureaucracy and corruption in the delivery of public services, increases efficiency, reduces the cost of doing business and makes life easier for Ghanaians by solving problems through the use of digital platforms.”
He listed a number of these innovations which have been implemented and are being used by Ghanaians despite claims that it was impossible.
“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 realize that through the Ghana card, we have been able to increase the proportion of Ghanaians with Tax Identification Numbers from 4% when we came into office to 85%.”
“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 could not understand how zipline medical drone service could be used to deliver medical supplies to save lives. They tried to convince people that drones were to be used for taking pictures of women in bathrooms. Today, as we speak, Ghana has the largest drone delivery service in the world.”
“Unfortunately, for people of governments that try to lead our country to a new level, they are confronted with a mindset that only sees impossibilities; a mindset that refuses to believe that an African country like Ghana can lead the world in implementing 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,” he said.