The Communications and Digitalisation Minister, Mrs. Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, has said Ghana’s digital agenda needs infrastructural development that requires investment.
She made this known in her welcome address at the GhanaCARES Digitisation Readiness Workshop held in Accra on 2nd December 2021.
According to Mrs. Owusu-Ekuful, Ghana cannot be left out of the world’s technological advancement, as that has become the new dimension for better progress and recovery from the COVID-19 effect.
“That is why we are determined to accelerate our efforts to transform our country and our economy into one that is more agile and more competitive in this new digital age. I am sure you have heard about the Ghana Covid-19 Alleviation and Revitalization of Enterprises Support (Ghana CARES) programme which sets out the Government’s approach to mitigating the economic challenges created by COVID, as well as steps we can take as a nation to drive our national economic transformation.
“We must ensure catalytic investment and development of communication infrastructure, integration and leveraging of data systems and platforms, enhanced capacity of key institutions and improved coordination with the private sector for improved service delivery, business expansion and economic transformation” she added.
Ghana CARES programme
The Ablekuma West lawmaker made mention of specifically agreed interventions her Ministry is engaging in under the GhanaCARES ‘Obaatan Pa’ initiative from July 2020 to the end of 2023.
She said the move is to ensure the availability of long-term investment capital for entrepreneurial ventures and productivity-enhancing investments by young people to fast-track the digitisation agenda.
- Invest, consolidate, strengthen and expand the national fibre network backbone in order to expand and improve internet connectivity.
- Promote increased digital literacy, to enable our citizens in every part of the country to 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.)
The Ghana CARES programme has been designed to stimulate economic growth through increased investment in selected sectors, including agriculture, trade and industry, tourism, housing, science and technology and financial services.
Specific efforts would be made towards providing the youth with access to finance and skills in these areas to expand the production capacity in the selected areas.
Mrs. Ursula Owusu said the digital transformation for the country’s development is a journey, adding that, without the foundational elements put in place, Ghana will struggle to capture its share of growth in the burgeoning digital economy.
“These are carefully and thoughtfully selected interventions to aid the Digital Transformation process of the country. Digital transformation is, however, not a destination, but a journey. It is long, and not without challenges, and it must happen at an increasing pace – this we understand well. The government will therefore continue to play the pivotal role in this journey, working in partnership with the private sector and the citizenry.”
She indicated that “It is imperative that government puts in place certain foundational elements to ensure we can quickly deliver the digital transformations needed, firstly within our own rank, and then across all sectors of our economy. Without these foundational elements, we will struggle to capture our share of growth in the burgeoning digital economy.”
“This workshop is a crucial step to ensuring the correct foundational elements are put in place for the journey ahead, and I am pleased that you have honoured this invitation to be a part of this work. It is an important step to assess our current digital situation to inform the next steps in the transformation process.”