US Vice President Kamala Harris and Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia

United States (US) Vice President Kamala Harris has commended Ghana’s impactful Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia for spearheading innovative initiatives of government including the massive digitalisation of the economy and medical drone delivery system in the country.

She has therefore reaffirmed the need for African countries including Ghana to invest significantly and reposition their economies through digitalisation.

Digitalisation, the US Vice President noted, is essential for the growth and expansion of 21st century economies as it benefits citizens such as students, farmers and business people in their various endeavours.

Her call followed widespread digitalisation reforms and initiatives of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo being led by Vice President Bawumia.

These landmark initiatives have earned Ghana commendations amongst its peers in relation to growing their economies in the 21st century.

“One area where we must together make progress is in the digital economy. Whether you’re a student relying on virtual courses, a farmer relying on an app for early warning about extreme weather or a small business owner looking to sell goods online, digital services are essential to 21st century economies”, the US Vice President reiterated in an address at the Independence Square in Accra.

Kamala Harris noted that whilst some African countries are lagging behind in terms of digital services and significant digitalisation of their economies, others are leading the charge in digital solutions.

The situation, she said, is a compelling reason for the United States to mobilise resources in billions of dollars to Africa to expand and improve access to internet services.

“The partnership between the public and private sector is essential. Partnerships that combine the experience and expertise of the private sector with the rich and capacity only governments can provide. Together we can unleash growth and opportunity what either the public or private sector can achieve on its own.

“The United States is committed to build these types of partnerships to improve digital inclusion on the continent,” Kamala Harris added.

The latest assertions by the US Vice President have added to loads of commendations on Ghana’s digitalisation agenda which has been championed by Vice President Bawumia.

Dr. Bawumia has consistently stated that the digitalisation agenda embarked upon by government has been one major path leading to growth and consolidation of the Ghanaian economy.

US Vice President Kamala Hariss and Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia

It would be recalled that Vice President Bawumia at a public lecture on the State of the Ghanaian economy bemoaned the story of successive governments largely focusing their attention on managing crisis relating to the economy instead of building systems that will strengthen and enhance economic prospects of the country.

Initiatives such as the National Identification Cards, digitisation of passport acquisition, mobile money interoperability, accessing essential services on digital platforms are among the many digital reforms that have significantly repositioned and strengthened the economy.

Medical drone delivery service

The US Vice President has also acknowledged the contribution of Ghana’s drone medical delivery service in the improvement of healthcare in the country.

The initiative, also championed by Vice President Bawumia has seen an efficient and smart way of delivering emergency medical supplies to even remote areas in the country.

Speaking at a Lecture last Tuesday as part of her three-day visit to Ghana, Kamala Harris enumerated the significant contributions of the service including the delivery of over 9 million vaccines.

“In Ghana, this service has delivered more than 9 million vaccines including those for Covid-19”, she revealed.

Currently, Ghana has about six active drone centres and two more set to open, to make the country the largest drone delivery service in the world.

In Ghana, Zipline Medical Drone Delivery Service which started in 2017, operates the service targets covering 2,000 health facilities that serve 12 million Ghanaians (of a population of just fewer than 30 million)—from small community clinics and vaccination centers to larger general hospitals.

At the launch of one of the centres in recent times, Vice President Bawumia who was passionate about the initiative said, “There is no reason why we should have people die out of snake bites in one particular district when Upper East is having Anti-snake serum and the Upper West which is just next to Upper East doesn’t have and it takes the Minister to come here and Upper East would tell him we have some Anti-snake in the stores.

“In addition to that, we also believe that there are some of the commodities that you don’t have to even put in the medical stores. We will distribute them at the drone distribution centres”.