Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia has said that in spite of major strides Ghana has made in its globally-acclaimed digitalisation drive, there are still some Ghanaians who refuse to accept Ghana’s success.
Speaking at the launch of the Ghana Electronic Pharmacy Platform (ePharmacy) in Accra on Monday, July 18, Dr. Bawumia said government’s interest in digitalization stems from the fact that the 4th Industrial Revolution is a digital revolution, which is indispensable in the economic transformation of a developing economy.
The Vice President, who listed a number of digital innovations the government has initiated and the impacts they are having in easing access to government services and impacting government revenue, said each of these innovations was met with pessimism by people “with the minds of impossibilities”.
“There are many, who refuse to understand the importance of digitalization to our economic transformation. Therefore, they will mock any new innovation,” Dr. Bawumia said.
He listed a number of digital innovations, which some people doubted and said it was not possible to achieve, or doubt Ghana’s ability to achieve such a technological milestone.
“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 Ghana Card, 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 Ghana Card, 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 Ghana Card 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.”
Dr. Bawumia stressed that government’s zeal towards implementing its transformative digital technology continues to face pessimism from people who refuse to believe an African country like Ghana is not capable of leading implementation of digital innovation.
“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.”