The Vice President, Dr. Mahamadu Bawumia, says the outbreak of COVID-19 is providing an opportunity for businesses across the world to adopt technology to improve efficiency.
According to him, the pandemic will change the process of doing business, something that developing countries such as Ghana must take advantage of.
He’s hopeful that electronic transactions in particular will increase significantly even after COVID-19, to limit the movement of physical cash.
Speaking at the launch of MASLOC’s new Integrated ICT business solutions at the Jubilee House, Dr. Bawumia said Ghanaian businesses must take advantage of the situation as government automates all of its payment systems to enhance transparency in the public sector and reduce corruption.
“Yes, COVID-19 has been destructive in many ways of our lives, but destructive events can catalyze change for the better. We are witnessing an awakening of a new world order; businesses will not be as usual after the crisis. An obvious change after the crisis will be an increase in reliance and confidence in technology, online payment systems will be radicalized and institutions would have no option but to subscribe to digital service delivery,” he said.
The COVID-19 outbreak, which expanded from a global health emergency to a global pandemic, saw many governments making full use of digital technologies to confront a wide range of pandemic-related issues.
In Ghana, the enforcement of social distancing measures, the three- week partial lockdown and other measures in response to the pandemic also led an increase in the use of the internet.
Already, the Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems (GhIPSS) has indicated that, the volume of transactions done electronically through its platform has increased by 81 percent in the first quarter of this year compared to the same period last year.
A statement released by the Chief Executive of Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems (GhIPSS), Archie Hesse, described the growth as a very important indication of how people are gradually embracing electronic payments.
Ghana’s Digitization Agenda
The Akufo-Addo led government has also reiterated its unflinching commitment to leverage on technology and digitisation, to strengthen and improve the delivery of service within the country’s public sector.
Following its agenda of formalising the economy through digitization, the country has witnessed the introduction of Zipline Technology’s, a medical drone programme, which is helping in healthcare delivery especially to the hard-to-reach communities of Ghana, introduction of a Paperless Port system which has reduced turn-around times at the country’s ports and the digitation of DVLA to eliminate corrupt practices.
Others include the introduction of a Digital Property Addressing System, issuance of a National ID card, a national address system and increase in mobile money interoperability among others.