World Bank provides $200m to finance digital transformation in Ghana

Ghana has been on a digitalization process to improve the workings of both the public and private sectors and to grow the economy, and the World has approved $200 million financing to accelerate the process.

In a press release copied to Ghana Business News, the Bank says the financing is to help the government increase access to broadband, enhance the efficiency and quality of selected digital public services, and strengthen the digital innovation ecosystem in Ghana to help create better jobs and economic opportunities.

According to the Bank, digital is one of Ghana’s best-performing sectors. It grew on average by 19 per cent per year between 2014 and 2020.

“Today, Ghana is among the digital leaders in sub-Saharan Africa and the Digital Economy diagnostic conducted in 2020 identified key bottlenecks that needs to be removed to further accelerate Ghana’s digital transformation. Building on previous investments, particularly through the ongoing World Bank-supported e-Transform Ghana project, this newly approved Ghana Digital Acceleration Project is supporting a regulatory shift to create an enabling environment for digital inclusion and innovation; streamline governance and delivery of public services; and facilitate smallholder engagement in data-driven digital agriculture,” the release said.

It notes that the project will help strengthen the local digital entrepreneurship ecosystem and improve the survival and growth rate of digital technology-enabled startups.

The Ghana Digital Acceleration Project is expected to increase access to mobile internet and broadband services of six million people by encouraging private sector investment in last-mile connectivity in underserved rural areas. It will also promote digital inclusion for women, persons with disabilities and rural communities through regulatory updates and investments among others, it added.

Commenting, Pierre Laporte, World Bank Country Director for Ghana, Liberia, and Sierra Leone said: “Expanding digital access and adoption, enhancing digital public service delivery, and promoting digitally enabled innovation are essential for Ghana’s digital transformation, which will help drive a robust post-COVID-19 recovery.

The Ghana Digital Acceleration Project covers all these elements and will help advance the whole-of-government digital transformation agenda to accelerate adoption of digital technologies and innovation by key productive sectors, such as agriculture, to foster an economy-wide digital transformation.”

For Maria Claudia Pachon, Senior Digital Development Specialist of the World Bank and Task Leader of the project: “Public sector digitization under this operation will continue the e-Transform project’s digital public service delivery ongoing efforts, to help generate significant economic and development benefits for people, businesses and the government, such as increased efficiency gains and time savings for the society and the economy,”

By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi

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