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New digital policy will revolutionise economy – senior advisor to VEEP

Source the Ghana Report

A Senior Advisor at the Office of the Vice President, Professor Kwaku Appiah-Adu, says the new national digital economy policy will serve as the framework for the country’s digital economy revolution.

To this end, he called for the development of an incubator environment to nurture new private companies and start-ups, accelerating the development of applications software, which they will grow to provide regional e-backroom services and other regional business opportunities.

Speaking at a National Stakeholder Consultation for Review of the Ghana Digital Economy Policy, Professor Appiah-Adu expressed hope that the new or reviewed policy will make provision for exposing digital entrepreneurs to local, regional and global markets.

He said: “Provision should be made for disruptive technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Machine/Deep Learning, Block-chain and Internet of Things as to how Ghana can benefit from these disruptive technologies”.

And for this to come to fruition, there’s a need for the new digital economy policy to develop a national defensive system to protect, control and monitor the flow of data and information internally and externally to protect the sovereignty and integrity of the country and its communities, according to him.

The digital transformation journey

Ghana’s digital transformation journey started in the 1990s. The early 2000s saw preparation of the groundwork for building an ICT sector; establishing institutional and regulatory frameworks and opening up the telecom market. By the early 2010s, focus turned to enhancing ICT infrastructure, establishing a national data centre and building the needed fibre-optic backbone across the country.

Government has since 2017 signalled its aspirations to build on the ICT developments. The goal is to quickly transform Ghanaian society by leveraging technological innovations to advance the development process, overcome legacy administrative problems, and improve both economic and public sector governance.

The need for new/revised digital economy policy

For Professor Appiah-Adu, the new or revised Digital Economy Policy will ensure coherence and coordination of policies across all domains and sectors that shape digital transformation.

“It is therefore important that all relevant stakeholders in its development and implementation are involved – government actors who design policies and craft strategies and can never, by themselves, fully understand all opportunities, challenges and issues related to a National Digital Economy Policy,” he stated.

He said the new policy will improve quality of rulemaking through ideas, expertise and evidence from stakeholders. “Furthermore, it creates a sense of ownership and enhances the legitimacy of policies and regulations,” he added.

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