Madam Patricia Obo-Nai made these comments during a panel discussion at the fifth edition of Ghana CEO Summit held in Accra, under the theme, “Digital transformation: Powering business and government reset for a post-pandemic economic resilience. A public-private sector dialogue”.
For the desired outcome to be attained however, Patricia mentioned that certain fundamental factors have to be put in place. She stated that for example, internet connectivity is an indispensable ingredient in a country’s forward match towards realising a digital economy, however, Ghana continues to rank among the countries with the lowest level of internet penetration.
“In this day and age, we are unfortunately still talking about 2G internet connectivity in major parts of Ghana. How are we going to be able to drive digital economy in Ghana when, thanks to low coverage, people use handsets that can only make phone calls?” she quizzed.
She added, “There are so many towns in this country that are not connected to the internet. Until appropriate infrastructure is pegged down, we cannot go beyond these summits and discussions to actually deliver the stated digital economy.”
In the light of these prevalent circumstances, Patricia averred that the way forward is for Government to partner with Telcos and other stakeholders to collaborate towards rectifying the current gap in digital infrastructure and subsequently leveraging on this to build a resilient and formidable digital economy.
According to her, neither the Telcos nor the government on their own have the capacity to make the digital economy a reality. She urged government to put in place the policies, necessary infrastructure and the enabling environment to accelerate Ghana’s digital transformation.
“The current high cost of operation derails all efforts. As it stands now, it costs a Telco a whopping 30 million dollars to acquire enough spectrum to provide 4G internet to a specific location. Coupled with this are other operational costs. All these considered, we cannot achieve the much talked about universal access by 2030 unless we join forces. This is why I say that it is a shared responsibility.”