The Government of Ghana is using digitalization to shape national discourse and promote behavioral change based on moral principles, as stated by Ghana’s Vice President Bawumia. This will reduce the human interface for corruption.
Stating the beneficial outcomes accomplished by the continuous imbuement of digitalization in day to day public life, Dr Bawumia said Government has taken a conscious decision to decrease the human connection point, which is normally the field for corruption, to reduce its rate and grow a new way to deal with public turn of events.
When Dr. Bawumia addressed attendees at the National Development Conference 2023, which was held on July 26th, 2023 and was hosted by the Church of Pentecost, he praised the benefits of digitalization in the fight against corruption and moral debauchery.
The Conference held under the theme ‘Moral Vision and National Development’ was attended by all major stakeholders in Ghana’s development including Former Presidents J.A Kufuor and John Mahama; Speaker of Parliament Rt Hon Alban S.K. Bagbin; the Chief Justice,, Her Ladyship Gertrude Torkonoo, National Executives of political parties, leaders of Religious bodies, civil society organizations and governance experts.
“The behavior of the people determines the transformation of a nation. This is why, as a government, we have focused on putting in place systems that will reduce the role of the human factor and enhance transparency through digitalization of the economy. We have put in place systems that will encourage or compel morally upright behavior.”
“Through digitalization we are compelling behavior that is morally upright”, he continued, noting that by reducing the human interface, state institutions and their clients have no choice but to do the right things and pay the right fees because computers don’t understand bribes.
Dr Bawumia refered to the significant effects digitalization has had on effectiveness and income age in some key government institutions.
The DVLA is now a world class institution, without the need for ‘goro boys’. Now you can apply for a passport online and have it delivered to your house without having to pay a bribe. The port is now paperless and clearing your goods has become much easier.
“Digitalization has also had a major impact on revenue generation. Take the Electricity Company of Ghana for instance. Before digitalization the company was collecting an average of Ghs450 million a month. We noticed that for some years, this figure had not changed, despite an increase in customers. Something clearly was not right. So we introduced digitalization in to their processes and made all payments cashless. Despite initial resistance, the system is working smoothly. And interestingly, the monthly revenue has shot up from Ghs450m a month to Ghs1.2 billion a month,” he disclosed.
“Before digitalization, the Passport Office was generating an average of Ghs1m a year. After we digitalized the process, including making payments cashless, the Office now generates over GH60m a year.
“It is therefore evident that with the infusion of digitalization, we are creating an environment, a system where corruption cannot thrive due to the reduction and elimination of the human interface”, he noted.
Dr. Bawumia emphasized the government’s determination to alleviate the suffering of Ghanaians and restore the economy to its previous high growth rates in the three years prior to the Covid outbreak in 2020.
“Among others, we will continue with our programmes for the expansion and modernization of our educational system to create a 21st century workforce; the systematic reform of our healthcare delivery system to ensure a resilient, robust healthcare delivery system; the conclusion of the digitalization process to obtain the full benefits of the 4th Industrial Revolution.”
Insinuating the theme for the Conference, VP Bawumia promised that government would work assiduously for the establishment of a free and just society, where entrepreneurship and individual initiative are the sources of wealth creation with a strong social safety net for the marginalized and disadvantaged; and the improvement of the governance architecture to deepen accountability and respect for the rule of law in the body politic.
Dr. Bawumia specifically praised the Church of Pentecost while praising the religious community for its strong collaboration with the government for national development.
“If there is one Church which has, over the years, and, particularly, in recent times, risen to its duties of being a steadfast partner with Government in the development of the nation, I dare say it is the Church of Pentecost.
“Indeed the contribution of the Church of Pentecost to education, healthcare, social welfare and the financial development of Ghana continues to merit the unalloyed gratitude of the Ghanaian people,” he emphasized.