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Government Instituting Strong Digital Culture to Solve Country's Problems - Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia

Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia, says government is instituting a strong Digital Culture in Ghana and all the advantages it offers to solve the many challenges that Ghana is faced with.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the 2nd Biennial Africa Regional Conference of the International Communication Association (ICA) on the theme; "African Digital Culture: Emerging Research, Practices and Innovations," at the Bank of Ghana Hall, Economics Department of the University of Ghana, the Vice President said the Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo-led administration is doing all within its power to leverage on technology to resolve the many challenges facing the country, the latest being the introduction of cashless payments for services offered by government to the citizenry, as well as services offered to government by the citizenry.

"On assumption of office some 22 months ago, we set our minds to try to drive a transformation and modernization process for the country. We as a nation were faced with many problems. Governments have come in and governments have gone, but these problems have persisted. We set our minds to say it is alright trying to manage an economy, going about it the normal way, but if you don't have systems in place to generate the efficiencies that can answer the questions to solve these basic problems, you will go but you will come back, you will take a few steps forward, but you take more steps backwards," Dr. Bawumia said.

The Vice President noted that the introduction of the country's digital address system, the national identification card system, the paperless port system, online application of passport, the land digitization programme and several other programmes and initiatives of government are all geared towards rapid transformation of the country and the economy.

Cashless Payments

The Vice President observed that in the upcoming 2019 Budget, to be read before Parliament by the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori Atta, the modalities for the new payment policy will be laid out. "We are moving to a situation, and I am sure the Minister of Finance will announce this in the forthcoming budget, that by next year we want to get into a situation where there will be no cash payments for any government services, everything has to be electronic, we move completely electronic next year," the Vice President said.

The platform, the Vice President added, "is already there, if you are using cash, that is where people have the temptation to steal and there is very little accountability. "Given that the platform is now available, there is no excuse, we have to leverage on that technology and make sure that all payments whether it is for births and deaths, port duties, DVLA, business registration, passports, all payments, assembly fees, land and so on, will be through electronic payment. It either you use you mobile money wallet, Eswich account, Bank Card, VISA, MasterCard, any of those can be used to pay," the Vice President stressed.

I Box System

On the education system, the Vice President said government is looking at making available recorded lessons of teachers across the country on an online platform that would be know as the ibox. The platform he says will be accessible via the internet to all students in the country which will ultimately result in knowledge sharing across board.

The International Communication Association

The International Communication Association (ICA) is an academic association for scholars interested in the study, teaching and application of all aspects of human and mediated communication. It began more than 60 years ago as a small organization of U.S. researchers and now is truly international with more than 4500 members in over 85 countries. The Association maintains an active membership of more than 4,500 individuals in 85 countries, approximately two-thirds of whom are academic scholars, professors, and graduate students. Other members are in government, the media, communication technology, business law, medicine and other professions. ICA also has 59 institutional members (university departments or related institutions)and a growing number (16) of association members (communication associations around the world).

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