Mr Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, Minister for Communications and Digitalisation

Minister for Communications and Digitalisation, Mrs Ursula Owusu-Ekuful has stated government is putting in place foundational elements to ensure delivery of the digital transformation agenda within the ministries and across all sectors of the economy.

According to her, without these foundational elements the state will struggle to capture its share of growth in the burgeoning digital economy.

She disclosed that the global digital economy is estimated at nearly US$3 trillion with economies all over the world placing high priority on transforming into more digitally advanced to reap the benefits and efficiency associated with technology.

Ghana, she said, can therefore not afford to be left out hence the determination of government to accelerate efforts to transform the country and the economy into one that is more agile and competitive.

Addressing a digitalization readiness workshop in Accra last Thursday for Ministries and officers of the GHANA CARES delivery unit, Mrs. Owusu-Ekuful noted the global economy has been undergoing digital transformation over the past 20 years but COVID-19 has accelerated the pace of digital transformation across the world.

She disclosed that government’s approach to mitigating the economic challenges created by COVID and driving the national economic transformation is the initiation of the Ghana Covid-19 Alleviation and Revitalization of Enterprises Support (Ghana CARES) programme.

Digital transformation, she said, is a key component of this developmental agenda as an identified accelerator of development and growth of the country in the efforts to build back from the disruptions of the pandemic.

She said, “We must ensure catalytic investment and development of communication infrastructure, integration and leveraging of data systems and platforms, enhance capacity of key institutions and improve coordination with the private sector for improved service delivery, business expansion and economic transformation.”

“The following are specific agreed interventions for the Communication and Digitalisation sector under GhanaCARES “Obaatan Pa” from July 2020 to end 2023:

-Invest, consolidate, strengthen and expand the national fibre network backbone in order to expand and improve internet connectivity. We must build on the existing assets we have and expand it to provide seamless infrastructure for connectivity, especially rural connectivity, for both public and private sector.

-Promote increased digital literacy, to enable our citizens in every part of the country take advantage and use the digital infrastructure and services we are putting in place

-Support Ghanaian technology entrepreneurs to build tech hubs and to export IT-enabled services such as business process outsourcing (BPO) firms

-Expedite implementation of Government digital initiatives (e.g. the National ID, digital address systems, etc.). I’m glad the NDC is now calling on its members to register for the Ghana card, after asking their members to boycott it. The national ID and all the other digital systems we have established are pivotal to the digital transformation of Ghana and form key pillars of the digital economy. We are moving towards integrating our databases and developing a cash light society.”

“These are carefully and thoughtfully selected interventions to aid the Digital Transformation process of the country,” she added.

According to her, digital transformation is however not a destination, but a journey and indicated government will continue to play the pivotal role in the journey working in partnership with the private sector and the citizenry and stressed the workshop is a crucial step to ensuring the correct foundational elements are put in place.