Governments must implement reforms in spite of resistance – Bawumia
Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia on Monday said though it is difficult to implement innovative reforms due to resistance from sections of the society with vested interest in the status quo, governments must endeavour to execute those policies to ensure efficiency and accountability.
He noted that reforms were supposed to bring efficiency in the delivery of public service and no matter the resistance, governments must go ahead to implement them.
Dr Bawumia expressed those concerns when he delivered a keynote address at the opening of a two-day Business Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) Summit in Accra on Monday.
It was on the theme: “Futuristic Economy: The Roadmap for Technology Driven Future of Business and Government for Economic Transformation”.
Dr Bawumia cited a case in point, last year, when the Government introduced the paperless ports system, which encountered protests from some elements at the ports with allegations that the system was collapsing their businesses.
He noted that digital technologies were crucial because they were strategic drivers to create open, participatory and trustworthy public sectors to improve social inclusiveness and accountability as well as stimulate national development and sustainable growth.
A World Bank Report had revealed that anytime there was 10 per cent broadband penetration, it boosted average Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of a country by 1.3 per cent, and whenever there was 10 per cent increase in internet density, it resulted in 0.7 per cent increase in the GDP, Dr Bawumia said.
He said the theme and topics for discussion provided a veritable opportunity for the nation to take stock and position itself for the challenges ahead.
“Collectively, you’re the industry thought-leaders, you’re the risk-takers and innovators, you understand the need to innovate, need to introduce new and improved technologies to improve productivity, need to remain competitive to sustain growth over time, both export and deepening domestic market across the Continent,” he said.
The Vice President said the role technology played in shaping transformation could not be overstated as it brought competitiveness, profitability and survival.
The next generation of business leaders, therefore, must be worried about disruptive technologies and the impact it would have on demand-driven consumer products, he said.
“Technology is both the driver and the very essence of today’s business because it provides vehicle for modern businesses and shape the systems and processes of businesses.”
“Modern businesses can hardly survive without adapting to innovative systems and processes that leverage their operations against competition,” the Vice President noted, adding that some domestic firms must catch-up with the rest of the world by mainstreaming their operations to boost productivity.
Vice President Bawumia underlined the need for businesses to tap into technology and innovation since they were the vehicle for growth and assured of government’s commitment to drive the agenda by starting the revision of the education curricular to reflect global trends.
“For households and middle class, technology is about convenience, efficiency, speed and cost to improve their wellbeing, intellect and earning ability.”
“For government, technology is about good governance, improved and efficient access to public services and required public institutions to use ICT to enhance their ways and means of linking with the public to reduce cost, improve performance, ease of doing business and the speed of delivery of services.”
He said for developing nations to leapfrog years of administrative bureaucratic bottlenecks, it was crucial to adapt innovative technologies.
He lauded the event organisers for the theme chosen for discussion, saying it provided hope for the country’s corporate governance by offering a platform for CEOs to share ideas for the betterment of their collective future.
Some topics and sub-themes outlined for discussion included Economic Leadership, Social Inclusion and Technology, Cyber Security Solutions, Family Business and Succession Agenda, and Ghana’s Banking Economy.