Economic crisis: Africa must adopt technological approach to development, says Bawumia

Addressing a high-level African Union-backed "BOMA" event, Bawumia cautioned against focusing on the short-term symptoms of the current crisis

The Vice-President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, has said the global economic crisis must be a wakeup call to African countries to adopt a technological approach to development, especially as the continent seeks to rebuild and rise.

Addressing a high-level African Union-backed “BOMA” event, Bawumia cautioned against focusing on the short-term symptoms of the current crisis.

The Boma forum brought together global political and business leaders to deliberate on the progress of Africa towards Agenda 2063, the AU’s timetable for transforming Africa into a global economic force.

Bawumia said the twin factors influencing the global economic crisis – the COVID-19 pandemic and the Ukraine conflict – have exposed gaps in the world’s economic and political architecture, which will affect Africa’s quest for growth, if the continent does not act decisively to build technological industries that are more resilient to global economic shocks.

“It is clear that countries that depend mostly on primary industries suffer harsher consequences when the global economy takes a nosedive than those that have diversified their economies through higher technology inputs.

“The challenges that have beset the global economy may have been fuelled by temporary crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic and the Ukraine conflict. But these challenges are still a wakeup call to Africa that there are deep structural gaps in the global economic and political architecture that can frustrate its rise, unless serious concerted efforts are made to plug them,” Bawumia said.

Plugging the structural gap, Bawumia observed, is for the African continent to adopt the emerging data-driven, technological approaches to development, which would help create the right structure for African businesses and SMEs and connect them from isolation, to the world of business.

Urging fellow African countries on, Bawumia noted that Ghana has chosen to take a path to economic development marked by increasing technological, especially digital, content in its development programs.

“We have successfully developed new identity infrastructure that will transform credit scoring for SMEs, remove the bottlenecks in e-commerce and lay the ground for the modernization of business supportive government services,” he said.

“We have totally transformed the financial technology landscape and reworked our mobile telecom industry to enable us take advantage of the 5G revolution and the internet of things as they gather pace.”

“No one who has followed our policy journey in Ghana can doubt our total commitment to the technological approach to development,” added Bawumia.

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