Located in West Africa, Ghana is widely known for its beautiful culture and stunning natural beauty. However, in recent years, the country has gained recognition for its impressive advancement in digitisation, thanks in large part to the efforts of the most effective Vice President in Ghana, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia.
Under his leadership, the government has implemented several policies and initiatives aimed at leveraging technology to improve service delivery and create a more efficient economy. The implementation of the Ghana Card, Digital Address System, Mobile Money Payments Interoperability System, etc, in Ghana, have been the cornerstones of this digital transformation.
The Ghana Card initiative is one of Dr. Bawumia’s most notable accomplishments in the field of digitization. The Ghana Card is a biometric national identity card that is intended to collect personal information and biometric data from all Ghanaian citizens and residents.
The Ghana Card is a critical component of the country’s digitization goal as it provides a secure and reliable method of identifying citizens and residents. This, in turn, improves access to public services such as healthcare, education, and social assistance programmes not forgetting its security benefits.
The digitization agenda has also extended to the health sector, with the implementation of the Medical Drone Delivery System. It is the world’s largest medical drone delivery network which is operated by Zipline International and makes on-demand delivery of medical supplies to about 2,000 health facilities. The National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) was not left out in the digital revolution.
The mobile renewal service allows NHIS subscribers to renew their insurance using their mobile phones, thus reducing the need for physical visits to NHIS offices. The new addition is the E-pharmacy which allows subscribers to enter drug prescriptions and make request, the system also allows subscribers to be linked to multiple licensed pharmacy shops online to compare prices and be assured of quality medications.
In the finance sector, the government through Dr. Bawumia has implemented the Mobile Money Interoperability system, which allows for seamless transfer of funds between different mobile money platforms. This system has helped to increase financial inclusion in Ghana by making it one of the first nations to employ a universal QR Code payment system that accepts both bank accounts and mobile wallets.
This project has also made Ghana the fastest-growing mobile money market in Africa, with over 36.9 million registered mobile money accounts.
One of the key pillars of Ghana’s digitization agenda is the National Digital Property Addressing System (NDPAS), also known as the Ghana Post GPS. The system was launched in 2017 to provide every property in Ghana with a unique digital address, making it easier for citizens to identify their location and access various services.
The system is accessible via a mobile app, which allows users to search for addresses and also provides directions to the location.
Another significant initiative under Dr. Bawumia’s leadership is the paperless port system. The system, which was implemented in 2018, aims to reduce the time and cost of doing business at Ghana’s ports by digitizing the entire process. With the paperless system, all documentation is done electronically, reducing the need for physical inspections and enabling real-time tracking of cargo.
Dr. Bawumia was also instrumental in the implementation of Ghana’s e-procurement system, which aims to streamline the procurement process. The e-procurement system is an online platform that allows government agencies and private-sector organisations to publish tenders and receive bids from vendors.
The e-procurement system has helped to minimize corruption, improve transparency, and increase efficiency in the public procurement process by digitizing the procurement process. This, in turn, has resulted in significant cost savings for the government and enhanced service delivery to citizens.
Dr. Bawumia’s initiatives to accelerate digitisation in Ghana have had a substantial impact on the country’s progress. The use of digital solutions in many different sectors has not only increased productivity and minimized costs, but has also increased transparency and accountability.
As the world continues to embrace digital solutions, Ghana’s digitization efforts under Dr. Bawumia’s leadership serve as a shining example of what can be achieved with political will, vision, and commitment to innovation. The country is well on its way to becoming a digital hub in the region, and Dr. Bawumia’s vision and contributions will undoubtedly be remembered as a critical part of this success story.
By: Enoch Owusu-Appiah