Vice-President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia has called on Ghanaians to embrace technology to reap its profound benefits to change their lives.
“We really should embrace technology. A lot of the times we think technology is this far-fetched contraption only for First World countries.
Sometimes we do not give ourselves the benefit to realise that with the existing technology, we can do even more coming late to the game than even the First World countries are doing because it allows us to leapfrog and solve real problems with technology, “he stressed.
Dr Bawumia, who made the call yesterday at a breakfast meeting with players in the mobile telecommunication industry, urged that “we should try and use technology to add to what we have as a country.”
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The meeting was organised at the instance of the Vice-President and served as a platform for stocktaking and also for the participants to plan for the future.
It was on the theme: “Leveraging effective use and distribution of spectrum in Ghana for national development,” and attracted the leader and some members of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Communications, representatives of the Ministry of Communications, the Ministry of Finance and the mobile telecommunications sector.
Dr Bawumia noted, for instance, that the proposal on the use of drones to supply essential medical supplies to parts of the country had become topical because of “our reluctance to embrace technology.”
“That is part of it, we always question whether it is a priority and when government is not paying a pesewa for it, we are still questioning whether it is a priority. It is a priority for countries like Rwanda and so it should be a priority for countries like Ghana,” he stated.
Sharing his personal experience, which he said happened on September 22, 2002, to buttress the need to apply more technology, particularly in the health sector, Dr Bawumia said his father died at the Tamale Teaching Hospital because there was no blood after he had undergone surgery.
“We searched high and low as he lay dying and by the time we got the blood, he had died, it haunted me and it still haunts me and so, if you have a technology that can help a dying mother who is delivering or someone who can die of a snake bite, bring the medicine, it is not a political issue because no dying person will be asked whether you are NDC or NPP but rather, it is something that is so important that we should grab and make use of it,” he urged.
On spectrum, which is the highway or space within which the mobile telecommunication companies operate, the Vice-President said although the 4G spectrum was already in the country, a lot more needed to be done to make the service available for everybody, “even as we push forward to position Ghana for the 5G which is on the cusp of reality.”
It is imperative that “we consolidate all efforts to support government’s vision to leverage Information and Communications Technology (ICT) for national economic development,” Dr Bawumia added.
That, he said, could be achieved by eliminating bottlenecks to facilitate the deployment of 4G infrastructure among all key mobile service providers, align and benchmark our spectrum management processes to advanced markets, as well as signal proactive spectrum initiative with service providers.
Such a move, he said, would give the service providers much clarity and coherence to secure the needed investments to boost our networks.
The Vice-President commended the Ghana Telecommunications Chamber, organisers of the meeting, for putting together a knowledgeable group of local expertise, with support from an external speaker and said it was an opportune time to take stock of the country’s spectrum policies and management practices.
The Chief Executive Officer of AirtelTigo, Ms Mitwa Kaemba Nga’ambi, commended Dr Bawumia for showing leadership and commitment to the digital revolution and said the mobile network operators, as partners, would support the government in its vision of achieving a Ghana beyond aid.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Ghana Telecommunications Chamber, Mr Kenneth Ashigbey, in a brief remark, said the 5G spectrum would definitely come to ensure total telecommunications coverage in the country.