Ghana is on the right path – SOAS Director

By Godwill Arthur- Mensah, GNA

Accra, Oct. 24, GNA – The Director of the
Centre for Global Finance at the School of African and Oriental Studies (SOAS)
at the University of London, United Kingdom, has lauded the government of Ghana
for her efforts to formalise the Ghanaian economy, saying that it’s “timely
step in the right direction”.

Professor Victor Murinde, who gave the
commendation, said the decision by the Nana Akufo-Addo-led government to adopt
technology in the quest to formalise the economy was in the right direction.

Prof. Murinde said Ghana’s “trail blazing”
role in the African digitisation agenda worth emulation and urged other African
countries to take a cue from it.

Prof Murinde gave the commendation when Vice
President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia delivered the Distinguished Guest Lecture at the
School.

Vice President Bawumia, who spoke on the topic
“The Drive Towards Building a Digital Economy” used the platform to outline some
successes chalked by the government since it started the digitisation agenda.

“Nearly 61 years ago, we gained independence
and inherited an economy that pointed us in one direction: extract your natural
resources and export them to the rest of the world; import what you don’t have
through trade and you may rely on external development assistance to fill your
development gaps.

“But this paradigm has not served us well. Our
economy remains colonial, highly informal, undiversified, weak, vulnerable, and
lacks the internal capability to renew itself, create jobs and spur
innovation,” Dr Bawumia said.

The Vice President said the nation had learnt
from her past and had taken lessons from other economies in order to sustain
high economic growth.

“We must maximize knowledge diffusion to
accelerate our progress in development.

“Therefore, we have resorted to the use of
technological innovations to address some of our structural and institutional
weaknesses.

That is the surest way to leapfrog change,” Dr
Bawumia said.

“Our effort to digitise the Ghanaian economy
has not been without challenges, especially in the space of the past 22 months.

But that has not discouraged us because
someone has to initiate the change.

We must not relent in pursuing our vision to
build good societies.

“Like SOAS as a learning institution, we see
ourselves as a government in the context of a continent in transition.

To move the continent and its people to a
better place, we must adapt technology to overcome old barriers and widen the
opportunities for inclusion,”Vice President Bawumia maintained, “has
chosen the road to develop a prosperous economy through transformation in the
hope to move beyond aid, building on what technology enables us to do now.  It is not an easy path. It is a challenge,
but we see greater merit in the pursuit of that vision.”

Speaking after the Vice President’s lecture,
Prof Murinde, who is a financial economist, with more than 25 years’ expertise,
with senior-level stints at practitioner, policy and consultancy roles for
governments and leading international organisations, urged the Ghana government
to stay on, and accelerate the pace of the digitisation agenda to help rapidly
formalise the economy.

GNA

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