Don’t ignore digital age disruption – Pres

President Akufo-Addo

President Akufo-Addo

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has observed that though technology will dominate the future and lead to transformational development, its disruptive tendencies ought not to be ignored.

 

“Whilst doing all we can to deliver access to basic living amenities for our people, especially in Africa, governments must recognise that investing in ICT infrastructure, applications and solutions, has the potential to transform society, grow the economy, create jobs, and improve upon the welfare of their people.”

 

“In as much as we recognise the possibilities of the new digital age, we are also mindful of its disruptive tendency,” the President said when he delivered a statement at the Africa-Europe High-Level Forum in Vienna, Austria.

 

The forum, under the theme: “Taking Co-operation to the Digital Age,” was an initiative of the Austrian Chancellor, Sebastian Kurz, and Rwandan President, Paul Kagame.

It brought together European and African leaders, together with chief executive officers of major global companies, innovation champions, start-ups and other stakeholders.

The forum is a springboard to leverage on interventions which sought to enhance the quality of cooperation between Africa and Europe.

It further aimed to create prosperity and competitiveness on both continents, and deepen their relationship in all aspects with specific focus on taking cooperation to the digital age.

 

President Akufo-Addo told the gathering that the concept of a single world community linked by telecommunications, demanded interdependence, co-operation and alliances that would be key to tackling global issues.

 

He stated that it was important “to harmonise our efforts at the international level to curb the menace of cyber-attacks and cyber-crimes, as well as its effects on critical sectors such as in the aviation industry, supply of utilities, and in the electoral processes.”

 

Africa, the President said, should be proactive in order to guarantee collaborative success on the international stage, saying, “We must develop and implement our own cyber security policies, which would go a long way to securing the Critical National Information Infrastructure (CNII), and make it resilient.”

 

Taking co-operation into the digital age, President Akufo-Addo indicated, would mean that Africa should as a matter of obligation, build the capacity of its peoples, acquire knowledge and know how transfer, and also provide young people with information technology skills needed to survive and to thrive.

He sold to the meeting, Ghana’s resolve to fully digitise its economy, and the interventions being implemented by his government to achieve the vision.

 

“For us in Ghana, we are paying great attention to the value of the digital revolution. We are in the process of issuing a digital national identification card to all our citizens; we have created a digital property addressing system.

We have implemented a mobile interoperability system to facilitate electronic financial transactions; we are providing access to digital financial services; and we are employing a paperless clearance system at our ports.

 

“All of these developments are being made to formalise the Ghanaian economy, and, thereby, enhance its productivity, he stated, adding that “we can secure our collective futures if we work together.”

 

Austria currently holds the rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union in the second half of 2018.

 -GNA

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