Ghana’s Digitization, a Solid Undertaking by the Government
In 2005, Ghana initiated its digital governance strategy, this has resulted in
Ghana becoming one of the fastest-growing countries on the African continent noted
for flagship initiatives on Government-to-citizens digital systems. The digital
economy refers to a broad range of economic activities that uses digitized
information and knowledge as key factors of production. The digitization of the
economy creates benefits and efficiencies as digital technologies drive innovation
and fuel job opportunities and economic growth. The digital economy also
permeates all aspects of society, influencing the way people interact and bringing
about broad sociological changes. As the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic continues
to make digital innovation a priority in Ghana and internationally, this article looks
at some of the recent initiatives that are putting Ghana at the cutting-edge of
developments in this space.
There has been further progress on the integration of public sector records.
This integration means new Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT)
members must provide their Ghana Card numbers to enroll onto the SSNIT scheme
and employers and the self-employed can now pay contributions using Ghana Card
numbers. The Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, has also announced
proposals to merge the NIA Ghana Card database with that of the Criminal
Investigation Department (“CID”) of the Ghana Police Service. This merger is
intended to enable easier access to the criminal records of Ghanaians. For employers,
this would offer accessibility to background records of prospective employees and
enable verification of criminal records of current employees. As these processes
continue, managing and protecting data will become a major risk issue, hence it is
important the Government considers data protection and cybersecurity.
The widespread adoption of mobile money and other digital payment systems
in Ghana has led to a number of state institutions adopting digital payment platforms
to facilitate payment for public sector services. This has proven helpful and efficient
though there are some disadvantages. Also, all categories of taxes can now be paid
remotely and electronically through automated channels. Payment of taxes can also
be made through all the banks on the tax platform. This initiative is an effort to
improve tax collection and remove all the inefficient challenges, such as excessively
long queues, that impede payments.
To conclude, digitization allows governments to operate with greater
transparency and efficiency, and it has a dramatic effect on economic growth.
Miss Deborah Boakye