Vice-President Mahamudu Bawumia says that the government will leverage the progress made with digitalisation to drive innovation for the youth in Ghana.
Dr Bawumia was speaking on Tuesday (2 November) at Ashesi University on the theme: “Transforming an Economy Through Digitalisation: the Ghana Story”.
The vice-president, who has been spearheading Ghana’s digitisation drive, declared: “Having put together these large databases as a result of digitisation, our focus will 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.”
Dr Bawumia said it has taken political will on the part of the government to put the new systems in place because of resistance by beneficiaries of the status quo. As he noted, there is “little immediate political benefit from implementing these new systems”.
The vice-president observed: “It takes some time for the full benefits of digitalisation to manifest; however, politicians generally cannot afford to wait.
“The infrastructure we have put in place for digitalisation is soft infrastructure. It is not like a road or a bridge you can point to.
“It therefore takes courage,” said Dr Bawumia, “to focus valuable time and money on putting this soft infrastructure in place, because even though there is no immediate political benefit, these are the most important reforms for the country in terms of long-term impact.
“President Akufo-Addo has put the long-term interest of the country first.”
Dr Bawumia said that, going forward, the government is on schedule to digitise the operations of the Lands Commission to make it easy to acquire, transfer and register title to land.
“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.”
The vice-president added, “We will do the 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 added: “The operations of the School Feeding Programme are also being digitised to enhance its efficiency as well as facilitate monitoring. It is expected that the work on this will be completed by the end of this year.”