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Ghana’s Government Services Aim To Be Paperless by 2020

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Ghana Welcomes A Digital Push As It Plans To Eliminate Paper From Most Services

Ghana is looking forward to eliminating paperwork from most financial and government services by the beginning of 2020. All Government services, such as driving license and permits applications are planned to be cashless by next year.

They have opted to liaise with other digitilized countries like Kenya and Ivory Coast to ensure the completion of this initiative. In which case, this is a critical piece as Ghana, with Kenya and Ivory Coast are most advanced in government and payment services out of the 54 African nations. By the end of 2018, there were 456m unique mobile phone subscribers in Africa, a penetration rate of 44%, according to GSMA, an industry body.This penetration rate is expected to rise to 623m by 2025. 

It has been stated that Ghana has already surpassed Kenya in mobile payments as every mobile phone has turned into a mini bank. This is an effect of Ghana’s enforcement of complete integration of Mobile Wallets across Telcos and banks.  National ID cards are also in the works, and are expected to aid in effective administration of this new digital push. 

Mr. Bawumia, Ghana’s vice-president stated during the FT’s Africa Summit in London that every home in Ghana is to be “electronically tagged”, this includes informal housing like slums. An initiative to be achieved by utilizing a GPS system to assign homes an electronic address. He also stated that digital technology would remove the middle men and reduce corruption, and entice people to adapt to the digital world. Ghana has been using blockchain technology to modernize its land registry, as a result decreasing land dispute issues.  He added, that within two years, they would have digitalized all court and hospital records. 

Many are supportive of this push; while others like Nanjala Nyabola, Ghanaian writer, strucks a note of caution, as she believes the civil society should provide checks and balances against increased digital scrutiny. Gyimah Boadi, co-founder of Afrobarometer, a polling group, and a former director of Ghana’s Center for Democratic Development says that he recognizes the dangers of not properly and legally protecting Ghanaian’s personal information as there is a huge gap with the legal framework of these institutions. 

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