Government’s pursuit of transforming the public sector through an aggressive digitalisation drive is paying off, with significant progress so far recorded, Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia has said.
“Ghana is on an irreversible march of change. We consider repositioning Ghana through digitisation in all areas of public administration as an important goal to be accomplished,” according to Dr. Bawumia.
Proficiency through digitalisation and swift uninterruptible systems has been one of the main justifications for public sector reforms. Public sector reforms which will make the state effective, efficient, responsive, accountable and productive, he said, are necessary conditions for development of the continent.
On the account of these, he said, government set out policy goals to address the many bottlenecks in the public sector ecosystem through deployment of digital technology.
“The goal is to improve public sector delivery systems, ensure efficiency, formalise the economy, create jobs and enhance economic growth,” he stated.
Dr. Bawumia, in a speech delivered on his behalf at the ‘3rd Africa Public Sector Conference and Awards (APSCA)’, noted that the efficiency brought about by these digitalisation interventions is not just for ease of doing government business but also for cutting down a lot of waste and cost – saving the country a lot of money.
For instance, he said, as of 2017 the Passport Office processed a total of 16,232 applications with a revenue of GH¢1.1million, while in 2021 after digitalisation of the passport acquisition process 498,963 online passport applications were processed with total revenue of GH¢56.7million.
Also, with the digitalisation of acquiring drivers’ licences and motor vehicle registration in 2019 we experienced an increase in service by 109 percent for 2020.
“Government also generated average revenue of GH¢71.5million in the four years (2013-2016) before digitisation as compared to average revenue of GH¢168.4million in the four years (2017-2020) with digitisation,” he said.
However, he noted that the onus of demonstrating effectiveness and efficiency falls on the policies and systems we introduce. Let us rise together to build a united Africa through transparent and fair systems.
The awards ceremony
At the 3rd Africa Public Sector Conference and Awards, which were held in Accra, Africa’s top public servants, key decision-makers, stakeholders and most performing organisations in the public sector were recognised.
Public Sector Leaders who have delivered amazing value and outstanding leadership were announced and recognised at the award night.
The conference and awards, held under the theme ‘Repositioning Africa’s Public Sector for Sustainable Development’, engaged Africa’s top government agencies, public servants, investors, advisers and government representatives.
Before the awards, constructive panel sessions were held to address challenges, problems and the way forward in making public sector organisations across Africa more vibrant and effective to contribute in the development of Africa.
InstinctWave CEO Akin Naphtal said that even though the public sector has been underrated it still has a strong influence on economic growth, considering the major roles government agencies play in nation-building.
According to Mr. Naphtal, the award is to recognise those who made efforts in promoting excellent service delivery in public sector institutions across Africa; reward achievements and contributions of public service institutions that led to a more robust administration across nations in the region; and as well foster constructive competition among public sector agencies.
Among some of the organisations that were awarded were Galaxy Backbone as the Digital Infrastructure Service Provider of the Year; Margins Group was honoured as Innovative Government Service Support Provider of the year; and The Kenya Power and Lighting Company received the Driving Efficiency through Technology Adoption award.
The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) grabbed the Excellence in Trading Standards award, while VRA Property Holding Company took Excellence in Transforming Public Assets.
Outstanding Contribution to Power Sector Development was Volta River Authority, and the Excellence in Electricity Service Delivery award went to Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG).
Environmental Regulator of the Year went to National Environment Management Authority (NEMA)-Kenya. Excellence in Downstream Oil and Gas Operations went to the National Petroleum Authority (NPA); The Energy Commission was adjudged Best Public Sector Website, and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) received the Driving Excellence in Sustainable Land and Water Management Projects award.
Some of the individuals who were honoured included Senator Willington Greevon Smith of Liberia, who received the Outstanding Contribution to Humanitarian Services award; while the Outstanding Contribution to Humanitarian Services award went to Maxwell Grigsby, Chairperson of Liberia’s National Commission on Small Arms.
Outstanding Woman in Public Service is Deputy Chief Executive Officer-Volta River Authority (VRA), Mrs. Stella Agyenim Boateng. Mrs. Delese Mimi Darko, Chief Executive Officer Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) is Public Sector CEO of the Year (Female), while the male version is Mamo B. Mamo, EBS DG – National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) Kenya.
Executive Secretary to the Vice President of Ghana, Augustine Blay, was awarded for Outstanding Contribution to Ghana’s Digitisation. Public Sector Transformation Leader award went to Vice-President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, while the Reformative Leadership award was given to Uhuru Kenyatta. C.G.H, President of Kenya.
The Lifetime Achievement award went to Chief Director-Ministry of Finance, Patrick Nomo; Minister of the Year is Mathew Opoku Prempeh, Energy Minister. The Outstanding Contribution to Government Initiatives award went to the CEO of Margins Group, and Civil Service Icon award went to the Head of Civil Service, Nana Kwasi Dwamena.