The latest index by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has revealed that in terms of digital transformation, particularly in infrastructure, Ghana is not performing well, although, Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and Mobile Networks are growing.
The UNDP Digital Development Compass, which is a global map describing how countries are performing around the world, showed that Data exchange remains the main challenge for Ghana as it is still at the basic Stage 1 level.
Speaking on Ghana’s performance on the Compass, Dr. Angela Lusigi, UNDP Representative in Ghana, said:
“Ghana is doing quite well in some aspects but not in others. For example, when it comes to the vision and strategy, you are really at an advanced stage when it comes to that. But when it comes to looking at the business environment, that is still an area that is emerging. And when you look at specifically, issues around data and how it’s shared, that is an area where there is a huge gap apart from the digital infrastructure itself.
“So, I will say that there are some things that are happening and advancing very well but more work needs to be done on the digital infrastructure and the improving access for both urban and global dwellers, as well as, women and men.”Dr. Lusigi
Touching on aspects where Ghana is performing and where it is not in terms of digital transformation, Dr. Lusigi noted that, the data on the Compass indicates that the health and agricultural sectors of the economy seem to be well digitized.
This, she said is reflected in the amount of initiatives pushed to digitize operations in those sectors, however added that these operations are being done in Silos, which she noted is not a good indicator for the country.
“So the issue right now is: how do we break the Silos? And how do we have more opened data and more of our digital public good infrastructure, so that you can build on the development in one sector to also support what’s happening in other sectors?”Dr. Lusigi
Dr. Lusigi further advised the government based on her analysis of the aspect she finds the country performing so as to focus on those areas to sustain the gains already made:
“Definitely, I believe that there is a very strong vision and a strong strategy for where Ghana wants to go and this strategy needs to also influence the type of investment by both private and public sector actors. So definitely, that is an area of strength that can be used to generate a lot of gains…”Dr. Lusigi
Ghana’s Outlook from UNDP’s Digital Development Compass
From the Compass’ report, Ghana appears to be doing well in some areas of digital transformation. For example, when it comes to regulation, government regulation appears to be doing extremely well in terms of the digital space; 1 out of 5 were rated around 3.46. However, the figure begins to decline when it comes to critical infrastructure.
Ghana is deemed to be at Stage 4, when it comes to regulating the financial sector with digital innovation, which is just a step away from achieving the optimum level, V. Same is true for people’s awareness; when it comes to issues relating to digital transformation, Ghana is rated 3 out of 5.
The outlook on infrastructure appears rather different. Ghana appears to be lagging behind and performing uncreditably. UNDP scored Ghana 2.6 out of 5 on infrastructure digitization with the overall outlook placing the country at Level 2, which means that Ghana still has a number of opportunities tabled before it to improve in this aspect.
On the whole, the assessment shows Ghana has a long way to go, particularly, when it comes to the issues of infrastructure and ensuring that there is data openness.
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