Ghana is on the right path – SOAS Director

The Director of the Centre for Global Finance at the School of African and Oriental Studies (SOAS) at the University of London, United Kingdom, Professor Victor Murinde has lauded the government of Ghana for her efforts to formalise the Ghanaian economy, saying that it’s “timely step in the right direction.”

Prof. Murinde who gave the commendation, said the decision by the Nana Akufo-Addo-led government to adopt technology in the quest to formalise the economy was in the right direction.

He said Ghana’s “trail blazing” role in the African digitisation agenda worth emulation and urged other African countries to take a cue from it.

Prof. Murinde gave the commendation when Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia delivered the Distinguished Guest Lecture at the School.

Vice President Bawumia, who spoke on the topic “The Drive Towards Building a Digital Economy” used the platform to outline some successes chalked by the government since it started the digitisation agenda.

“Nearly 61 years ago, we gained independence and inherited an economy that pointed us in one direction: extract your natural resources and export them to the rest of the world; import what you don’t have through trade and you may rely on external development assistance to fill your development gaps.

“But this paradigm has not served us well. Our economy remains colonial, highly informal, undiversified, weak, vulnerable, and lacks the internal capability to renew itself, create jobs and spur innovation,” Dr Bawumia said.

The Vice President said the nation had learnt from her past and had taken lessons from other economies in order to sustain high economic growth.

“We must maximize knowledge diffusion to accelerate our progress in development.

“Therefore, we have resorted to the use of technological innovations to address some of our structural and institutional weaknesses.

That is the surest way to leapfrog change,” Dr Bawumia said.

“Our effort to digitise the Ghanaian economy has not been without challenges, especially in the space of the past 22 months.

But that has not discouraged us because someone has to initiate the change.

We must not relent in pursuing our vision to build good societies.

“Like SOAS as a learning institution, we see ourselves as a government in the context of a continent in transition.

To move the continent and its people to a better place, we must adapt technology to overcome old barriers and widen the opportunities for inclusion,”Vice President Bawumia maintained, “has chosen the road to develop a prosperous economy through transformation in the hope to move beyond aid, building on what technology enables us to do now.  It is not an easy path. It is a challenge, but we see greater merit in the pursuit of that vision.”

Speaking after the Vice President’s lecture, Prof Murinde, who is a financial economist, with more than 25 years’ expertise, with senior-level stints at practitioner, policy and consultancy roles for governments and leading international organisations, urged the Ghana government to stay on, and accelerate the pace of the digitisation agenda to help rapidly formalise the economy.

GNA

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