According to Vice President Bawumia, the government is using digitalization to reshape the national conversation and encourage morally-motivated behavioral change.
The government has made a conscious decision to reduce the human interface, which is typically the arena for corruption, in order to reduce its incidence and cultivate a new approach to national life, according to Dr. Bawumia, who outlined the positive effects achieved by the ongoing infusion of digitalization in daily national life.
In his remarks to attendees at the National Development Conference 2023, which the Church of Pentecost convened on Wednesday, July 26, 2023, Dr. Bawumia hailed the advantages of digitization in the struggle against corruption and moral degeneration.
All significant players in Ghana’s development, including former presidents JA Kufuor and John Mahama, the speaker of parliament, Rt. Hon. Alban S.K. Bagbin, the chief justice, Her Ladyship Gertrude Torkonoo, national executives of political parties, spiritual leaders, leaders of civil society organizations, and governance experts, attended the conference with the theme “Moral Vision and National Development.”
“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 cited the major impacts digitalization has had on efficiency and revenue generation 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 Ghs60m 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 Government’s determination to bring relief to the Ghanaian people and return the economy to high rates of growth that characterized the management of our economy in the three years preceeding 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.”
Alluding to the theme for the Conference, Vice President Bawumia pledged 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 our body politic.”
While praising the religious community for their strong collaboration with Government for national development, Dr Bawumia singled out the Church of Pentecost for high praise.
“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.