Vice President Bawumia advocates free internet service in Ghana

By
Godwill Arthur-Mensah, GNA

Accra, May 15, GNA – Vice President Dr
Mahamudu Bawumia has bemoaned the high cost of internet service in the country
and asked the service providers to consider free internet for Ghanaians.

He noted that the low cost of broadband
services and availability of internet in rural communities would aid the
Government’s digitalisation agenda to ensure quality delivery of public
services.

He cited Estonia where internet services
were offered for free and said the service providers could replicate it in
Ghana.

Vice President Bawumia made the appeal in
his presentation at a panel discussion at the Ghana Digital Roadmap Conference
on the topic: “Overview of Current ICT Policy Framework and Gap
Analysis” in Accra on Wednesday.

The conference was organised by the Vice
President Secretariat and Ministry of Communications, under the theme:
“Moving Ghana Beyond Aid: Expanding the Local Digital Economy “.

It brought together stakeholders in the ICT
industry, development partners, captains of industry, the diplomatic community
and ministers of state to review the country’s Information and Communication
Technology (ICT) for Accelerated Development Policy.

It was also to identify the gaps and provide
the right framework to harness the benefit of the digital economy.

The Vice President entreated every Ghanaian
to register for the Ghana Card since the National Electronic Identity Register
would serve as a central database for all public institutions to be connected
for information.

He said the Ghana Card, upon completion,
would serve as the National Health Insurance card and Ecowas passport since
every individual’s information would have been captured in the central
database.

Vice President Bawumia, in a keynote address
earlier, said countries that had adopted technology and improved their human
capital had experienced tremendous economic growth over the years.

Therefore Ghana could not afford to be left
behind in the Fourth Industrial Revolution, he added.

In that vein, Dr Bawumia said the Nana
Akufo-Addo-led Government, upon assumption of office, initiated digital
transformational programmes to build a new  
“Ghana Beyond Aid.”

Some of those initiatives included the
instant issuance of the Ghana cards, e-business registration, e-justice system,
digital property addressing system, mobile money interoperability system,
paperless ports system, e-smart driver’s licence, electronic renewal of the
National Health Insurance Scheme and online ticketing of the State Transport.

Dr Bawumia was of the conviction that
adopting digitalisation would help the nation to overcome geographic barriers
and inspire entrepreneurship as well as becoming the ICT leader in Sub-Sahara
Africa by 2023.

The Vice President, therefore, urged the
participants to ensure a comprehensive review of the ICT Policy and provide a
roadmap for a blueprint of the country’s digitisation agenda.

The participants are expected to review the
ICT for Accelerated Development Policy in line with digital opportunities and
generate ideas to develop a digital strategy to establish Ghana as the leader
in ICT innovation in Sub-Sahara Africa by 2023.

They are also supposed to come out with
ideas to bridge the rural-urban ICT divide by expanding digital services to
rural and underserved communities and improve efficiency in public service
delivery.

GNA

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