Public, private sectors must collaborate to drive digital transformation — Ashigbey

THE Chief Executive Director (CEO) of the Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications, Dr Kenneth Ashigbey, has stressed the need for the public and private sector to collaborate to drive an inclusive and sustainable digital transformation.

“To leverage the great potentials of digital for development and to leave no one behind, the private and public sector must collaborate to make an intentional effort to steer technology development and national digital transformation in a direction that is both inclusive and sustainable,” he said.

For instance, he said exploring such collaborations to review taxation on telecommunications and technology devices could contribute to ensuring affordable handsets, fostering increased connectivity and expanding access to technology for a broader population in Ghana.

“We need to take strategic steps to ensure that we stop being consumers of technology and start also producing technology and influencing how we use it to solve our contextual challenges.

“We should stop calling our real sector the derogatory word informal. We should rather exploit ways in which we can use technology to make our ways of doing business, the MSMEs, more productive and efficient,” he said.

Dr Ashigbey was speaking at the 2023 Made in Ghana Summit in Accra last Friday on the theme: “The Role of Public-Private Partnership in Sustainable Digital Transformation”.

The summit organized by the Entrepreneurs Foundation of Ghana (EFG) was sponsored by Margins ID Group, Jay Kay Industries & Investments Ltd, McDan Group, M & G Pharmaceuticals Ltd, B5Plus Group, Blow Chem Industries Ltd, Ghandour Cosmetics Ltd, Lambodra Enterprises Ghana Ltd and Kofikrom Pharmacy Ltd.

Addressing digital divide
He explained that the rapid increase in digital technology adoption, particularly accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic in recent years, had spurred an urgent need for digital transformation, compelling governments in the sub-Saharan Africa region to prioritize the swift adoption of digital technologies with special emphasis on addressing the digital divide to leave no one behind.

“Our digital divide as a country represented by our high usage gap, for example, for broadband services of over 60 per cent remains a pressing concern.

“Digital transformation is the integration of digital technologies into all areas of business, thereby changing how economic and social activities are conducted. It is important that as a people, we factor the digital default principle into our digital transformation agenda,” Dr Ashigbey stated.

“While it is important to acknowledge that digital technology can bring tremendous opportunities, like accelerating progress towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), it can also widen socioeconomic gaps if we do not make sure that not only is the issue of access to connectivity dealt with, but we also ensure that we deal with the issues of usage.

Standards of quality
In a speech read on her behalf, the CEO of the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA), Delese Mimi Darko, gave an assurance that the authority would continue to take a leading role in ensuring that locally manufactured food and medical products met the highest standards of quality and safety as Ghana worked towards industrialization and reducing our reliance on imports.

That, she said, would not only anchor the integrity of products and enhance the reputation of "Made in Ghana" products on the global stage but also boost the Ghanaian economy as a whole.

To attain this objective, she said, “We all need to continue to invest in innovative solutions to enhance our regulatory processes, improve transparency and foster stronger relationships with the private sector.

Source: Elizabeth Nyaadu Adu (Graphic Online)