I led the discussion at the Ghana Digital Road Map Conference on Automation, eGovernment Services and Data , an invite only event for the leaders driving technology in private sector and government under the auspices of the Vice President and Ministry of Communication .
See below the details
Setting the Context : Automation, eGovernment Services and Data
As we know this Conference is aimed at reviewing the ICT4AD policy document in line with digital opportunities and generate ideas to develop a digital strategy and an implementation plan to establish Ghana as a leader in ICT innovation in Sub-Sahara Africa by 2023. In the end we need to update Ghana’s current ICT4AD policy, develop and implement a strategy to make the country a leading ICT hub in Africa, with Ghana’s local IT industry playing a key role in our national efforts.
I remember working for Prof Clement Dzidonu , who was in the panel before ours , at the time when the work was being done of the policy . As always the policy document is written with excellence and a bit of understanding and clairvoyance on what the future of technology might look like .
The topic I and my panel members are attacking today is around E-government and looking for ways for government to effectively automate and provide government to government, government to citizen and government to business.
Can we answer the hard questions on how to effectively consolidate government services in order to reduce cost and remove duplications in the midst of agencies protecting their territories and their budgets?
Can we entice enterprise and business to take and monetize of government datasets and API’s for the provision of services to the populace despite the lack of proper data collection and where?
How can Government support the tech ecosystem effectively?
In the 14 pillars on which in Ghana ICT for Accelerated Development, the pillars that directly impact our discussion today is
-Facilitating Governmental Administration and Service Delivery – Promoting Electronic Government and Governance
-Deployment and Spread of ICT’s in the Community
-Rapid ICT an Enabling Physical Infrastructure Development
-Legal Regulatory and Institutional Framework Provision
-Facilitating National Security and Law and Order
5 of the 14 Pillars look squarely at the growth and development of Ghana through the digitalization of Ghana Government Services and Automation, so have a very important
My Name is Ethel Cofie CEO of EDEL Technology Consulting, I have my own ideas on the discussions and together, we might just come up with novel practical solutions.
Why do you think, we have failed in large part as a country to translate as well written document like that Ghana ICT for Accelerated Development Policy into far reaching tangible benefits across Government, business and the populace?
One of the objectives of the pillar on the digitalization of Ghana Government Services and Automation is the development of an interoperability framework to facilitate cross departmental operation of the ICT and services, there are some obvious signs there is some will to work on interoperability but its essential for government to private sector. What is your take in view of initiatives like Ghana e-Government Interoperability Framework / Ghana Government Enterprise Architecture.?
I believe for government enabling productivity and efficiency and providing services is also contingent on a mindset shift within government itself. I am always seriously worried when I am dealing with a government employee is using yahoo mail or Gmail for communication , there is real fear and distrust in using government email services , How do we fix this ?
Now let’s talk about the data privacy issues, what are we doing right, what are we doing wrong and what can we do better?
Let’s have the inclusivity conversation, because the ICT policy states the specific intervention need to create to include women, people with disabilities etc.
One initiative right now in the Government to Government, Government to citizen, or government to Citizen Space to provide the most impact
Lastly lets have the conversation on the Ghanaian owned private sector being able to effectively participate in the building of Ghana automation, so does not look like I beating on the international brand I know for instance brand like Microsoft and IBM use local partner to deploy solutions and make money from selling their licenses: how do we effectively craft a policy that can practically make this happen , if we are aiming for at least 70% local tech founders in the procurement of government services