Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia has lauded the collaborative role the private sector has played in the successful rollout of several programmes in government’s digitisation agenda. He said this collaboration has led to major budgetary savings, freeing up funds to address other equally pressing national demands. Speaking at the 9th Ghana Information Technology & Telecom Awards (GITTA) on Friday, Dr Bawumia disclosed that two of the flagship digitisation projects; the Paperless Ports system and Zipline Drone project, were implemented at zero cost to government due to this collaboration. “The digitisation process that we have embarked on in the past two and half years has however been cost-effective. A lot of people see these big projects taking place and they wonder how much it is all costing the budget.“You take the Paperless Port for example; a very big project that was implemented, but we looked at it and decided that we could get the private sector to pay for it and at the end of the day the private sector - Dubai Ports, West Blue, GCNET - all got together and did it. And it cost government zero,” he said.
According to him, government ”just brought people together, did the process flow and said, ‘this is what we want but we don't have money so do it for us’. And they did it for us. This is really good Corporate Social Responsibility.”
He said similarly, the Zipline project for medical deliveries cost was done gratis.
Other digitisation programmes had been implemented at an immensely lower cost than had been previously budgeted for, the Vice President disclosed.
“Mobile Payments Interoperability, the first of its kind that we've implemented in Africa - and there's really none that I know of globally - initially was supposed to cost us $1.2 billion.
“I'm sure most of you heard about it. But we were able to do it, including infrastructure, for less than $4.5 million, so that was a major saving. So there's a lot of cost-effectiveness with digitisation as you'll improve a lot of the efficiencies in public administration,” he said.
In recognition of his dedication to the digitisation agenda, Dr Bawumia was adjudged the Digital Leader of the Year at the Dinner and Awards Night, which brought together all stakeholders in the Information Communication Technology Sector in Ghana.