Business News of Wednesday, 4 October 2017
A "very excited" Vice-President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia has announced, government's much-talked-about digital addressing system will be launched in two weeks.
The digital addressing system will ensure that "even if you live in the middle of the river Oti, you can be traced", he told faculty and students at an Institutional Advancement Lecture at the University of Cape Coast, in the Central Region, Wednesday.
Speaking on the theme "Building stronger economies for African countries; the missing link", the Vice-President said after analysing the factors behind the successes of developed countries, it has been realised that knowledge, skills and technology have been vital.
He expressed wonder at a country like Singapore with no farmlands but an obsession for human capital development has moved its per capita income from $533 in 1965 to $52, 092 in 2016.
Ghana wallows around $1,515. Dr Bawumia pointed out that for Africa to harness knowledge, skills and technologies, it must carry its people along unlike it was the case under colonial era.
He said, Ghana's colonial masters, the British, focussed on only a small segment of the population in planning the development of Gold Coast.
This exclusionist policy, he said, has hurt the country greatly because those living outside cosmopolitan centres or cities do not feel included in Ghana's economy. Many do not have passports or bank accounts.
He said the NPP government is convinced to build the productive capacity of the country it is important to know who is in the country and where people actually live.
Dr Bawumia said this is why the government has launched a biometric National ID to supercede every other form of national identification of its citizens.
The next on government's list of inclusion-improvement programs is the digital addressing system.
The vice-president before touting the strength of Ghana's incoming system of addressing joked about the difficulty in tracing locations in Ghana.
"If you are looking to somebody's house, the Koko seller on the right, the blue kiosk on the left, by the gutter before you get there and then the day the Koko seller does not come, you are in trouble"
But before October ends, the government will launch the programme which will provide addresses to 16.1billion locations in Ghana. Every 5 by 5 metres square will be provided with an address, he said to applause.
"It is very very exciting", he said and explained that the address system is GPRS-enabled and is more advanced than systems of powerful economies.
When Ghana is through rolling it out "the waakye seller in any part of the country will be able to tell you this is my address and the system will take you there" he said.
He said each region will have a unique code down to the district, towns and communities.
"And so we are very very excited", the vice-president expressed satisfaction at government's commitment to fulfilling its electoral promises.
Dr Bawumia was even more excited in pointing out that the digital system is "actually designed by Ghanaians in Dansoman."
"We were wondering if our people will be able to deliver", he told a packed auditorium about government's initial hesitation over a local developer.
But after examining the final product, Bawumia confessed, "they are good, they are amazing".
He also revealed Ghana is getting value for money in rolling out the system which will cover 27million Ghanaians at a cost of $2.5m.