The spokesperson for Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, has described Ghana’s public sector as a rigid, unbending, centralised monolith which in many ways is slow in responding to public needs.
Dr Gideon Boako said despite several interventions to remedy the situation, the majority of the public administration systems remain the same.
He’s convinced technological advancement and digitisation might just be the much-sought-after solution to transform Ghana’s public administration systems.
He said, for many post-colonial societies like ours that appear stacked in the old antiquated ways of doing things, technological innovations and digitisation are just what are needed to leapfrog years of public administration reforms that have almost become a never-ending business, in some cases even more bureaucratic, more red-tape, more opaque and impediments to doing business.”
The comment was made at a New Patriotic Party (NPP) press conference held on October 5, in Accra as a follow-up to Vice President Dr Bawumia’s Public Lecture on digital economy at Ashesi University.
He stated that the conversation on digitisation is one that is long overdue as it holds great potential for economic development.
“Embracing digital technologies means providing strategic drivers to create open participatory and trustworthy public sectors, to improve social inclusiveness and government accountability, and to bring together government and non-government actors to develop innovative approaches to national development and long-term sustainable growth,” he stated.
To buttress his point, he cited a report from the World Bank on the effects of digitisation on Gross Domestic Product.
“A World Bank study has shown that every 10% increase in broadband penetration boosts GDP by an average of 1.3% and every 10% increase in mobile teledensity results in a 0.7% increase in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of a nation.
“This means Digital Governance, which will need these tools to be successful, is crucial to economic transformation of developing nations like Ghana,” he added.
Suggesting that the government’s digitisation drive is a selfless one, he explained that the country will truly reap the benefits of digitisation in the future instead of immediately.
“It has taken political will on the part of government to put these new systems in place. The status quo benefits the few to the detriment of the many. Furthermore, there is little immediate political benefit from implementing these innovations.
“It takes some time for the full benefits of digitalization to become obvious to many and manifest in our lives. Politicians generally cannot afford to wait. The infrastructure we have put in place for digitalization is soft infrastructure. It is not like a road or a bridge you can point to. But it is a powerful and an expanded highway for development,” he said.