THE Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, has been declared the Digital Leader of the Year at the Ninth Ghana Information Technology and Telecom (GITTA) Awards.
The award was in recognition of his spearheading role in the digital transformation of the country’s economy, through various innovations aimed at improving public service delivery and boosting the economy.
The annual event, which rewards individuals and institutions in the ICT and telecommunications sector, was organised by Instinct Wave in Accra on Friday on the theme, ‘Celebrating innovation and excellence in the ICT sector.’
Addressing players of the industry, Dr Bawumia announced plans by the government to introduce two new digital innovations in the coming months in continuation of the digital transformation.
One of them, he said, was a universal QR code to be rolled out by the Bank of Ghana (BoG), to enable merchants to accept different cashless payments systems instead of displaying several points of sale devices.
He said the universal quick response (QR) code which would be accessible via mobile devices, would boost financial transactions and propel the government’s cashless economy drive.
Dr Bawumia also disclosed that the national motor insurance database and that of the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) have been integrated and when launched, would enable law enforcement agencies to easily check uninsured vehicles and fake vehicle documents.
“It will be bad news for people who do not pay vehicle insurance. The police can just put in your car number through a particular code and they will know if the car is insured or not,” he said.
Highlighting some of the digital initiatives introduced by the government, the Vice President mentioned the paperless ports system, digital address system, mobile money interoperability system, e-procurement and justice systems and medical drone delivery service which were all done in cost-effective manner to improve public sector service delivery.
He commended industry players for their contribution to the growth of the sector through innovation, which he said was crucial to the attainment of the Ghana Beyond Aid vision.
Dr Bawumia affirmed the government’s commitment to the digital transformation and called for support of the industry players.
Deputy Minister of Communications, Mr Vincent Sowah Odotei, urged industry players to grab the numerous opportunities in the sector to facilitate service delivery, create jobs and transform economy.
He said the ministry would collaborate with them in the development of initiatives and regulations for the benefit of all, in addition to putting in place the necessary ICT infrastructure to spur the digital transformation.
More than 60 awards were grabbed at the ceremony by individuals and institutions including MTN, Vodafone, Airtel Tigo, and GCNET.
Mrs Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, the Minister of Communications, was adjudged the Industry Personality of the Year, while Mr Joe Anokye, the CEO of the National Communications Authority, was adjudged the Best Public Sector Telecom Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Year.
BY JONATHAN DONKOR