By Papisdaff Abdulla
Ghana has taken opportunity of the 2019 Transform Africa Summit to showcase to the continent and the rest of the world efforts by its government to digitize every facet of its economy as well as bridge the massive digital divide in the country.
The Transform Africa Summit is the annual leading African forum bringing together global and regional leaders from government, business and international organizations to collaborate on new ways of shaping, accelerating and sustaining Africa’s on-going digital revolution.
The Transform Africa Summit is the Smart Africa flagship event. Following four successful editions, the fifth Summit is taking place in Kigali, Rwanda, from 14 – 16 May 2019.
With over 4,000 participants including Heads of State and Government, UN Broadband Commissioners, Ministers, Regulators, among others, the 2019 Summit is under the theme “Boosting Africa’s Digital Economy”, featuring the second Transform Africa Economic Forum where there will be a government to business engagement aimed at wooing business leaders and high net worth investors on investment opportunities and areas of collaboration.
The forum will also help deliver tangible results in terms of public-private partnerships, agreements and consequently, deploy investments in economies of participating economies.
Leading the Ghanaian delegation at the Transform Africa Summit is the minister of Communications Ursula Owusu-Ekuful with a presentation made by the Chief Technology Officer at the National Information Technology Agency (NITA) Kofi Otchere and a deputy director at the Ministry, Emmanuel Ofori.
Addressing the Summit on Ghana’s digital economy, Mr Otchere spoke about the country’s digital addressing (NDPAS); Electronic ID (E-ID), Common Monitoring platform (CMP), Mobile money interoperability (MMI) and the Ghana e-payment platform (GEPP).
Mr Otchere told the Summit the National Digital Property Addressing System (NDPAS), aptly-dubbed ‘ghanapostGPS’ uses the Global Positioning System (GPS) technology to divide Ghana into grids of 5m x 5m squares and assigns each one a unique address.
He further observed the GhanaCard ensures that every Ghanaian has an identity to secure services and be financially inclusive to do business with confidence. The Common Monitoring Platform (CMP), Mr Otchere said provides services such as traffic monitoring, revenue assurance, fraud management, and mobile money monitoring.
“CMP monitors in real-time the amount of revenue generated by Telecom Service Providers across various revenue streams (Data, Voice, Value Added Services, Mo-Mo and Wholesale services for the purposes of computing CST, VAT, NHIL & 1% Universal Access contributions,” he stated.
Mr Otchere also talked about the Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Services (GhIPSS) which established the cross-network mobile money transfers, otherwise referred to as the Mobile Money Interoperability (MMI).
The MMI ensured the interconnection of three payment platforms; mobile money, bank account and e-zwich to complete the Financial Inclusion Triangle which also made Ghana one of the few countries in Africa to achieve the Universal Interoperability.
According to him, the number of active mobile money accounts increased to 12,594,427 in 2018 with a total float balance increased significantly to GH¢2.24 Billion (equiv. of $448 Million USD) since the launch of the MMI.
On the e-Payment Platform, Mr Otchere told the Summit that it is a payment service for the Public to conveniently make online payments for Government Taxes, Fees, Tangible Goods and Services such as Certificates, licenses, reports, permits etc. E.g. G2G, G2E, G2B and G2C payments.
He said transactions on the platform recorded over GH¢506 Million (equiv. of $100 Million USD) in the last 4 years and it is being upgraded to support interoperability with new technologies and services.
Mr Otchere ended his submission pointing out the socio-economic impact of integrated health ecosystem has had on improved healthcare outcomes through efficiencies, meaningful insights to care, providers, resulting in cost savings.