The Minister for Communications and Digitalisation, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, has announced that the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority is in the process of introducing a new e-payment platform for the payment of fees and charges at the ports.
The platform, she said, will facilitate cargo clearing at the ports and afford stakeholders the opportunity to validate invoices, calculate port charges and facilitate secure transactions through mobile money and other payment systems.
Speaking at the maiden Africa Digital Forum, Accra Edition, under the theme “The Digital Challenge: Africa’s Opportunity under AfCFTA”, she stated that arrangements have been made for payment of taxes to be made through all the banks on the Ghana.gov platforms.
This initiative is part of the Ghana Revenue Authority’s (GRA) efforts to improve tax collection and remove all bottlenecks that impede payments.
The Director-General of the National Information Technology Agency (NITA), Richard Okyere-Fosu, revealed that his agency intends to collaborate with other regulators to develop and enable cross-sector regulatory high-level principles that will fast track the adoption of e-commerce, e-agriculture, e-health, and e-education to realise a digitally transformed country.
“As the host of the AfCFTA Secretariat, Ghana has the opportunity to be the model country for developing ICT experts and providing quality and security of ICT services to facilitate trade across our continent,” he said.
Prof. Alex Dodoo, CEO of the Ghana Standards Authority, said Africa must lead in the development of standards and rules for e-commerce globally.
He argued that e-commerce enhances competition within Africa and in the global market, and that the ability to use digital payments and other payment methods makes e-commerce attractive and fully inclusive for African traders.
E-commerce, he further noted, overcomes the challenges of high logistics and creates newer models for intra-Africa trade.
Speaking at the same programme, the Dean of the University of Ghana Business School, Prof. Justice Bawole, argued there was the need to improve acquisition of digital skills among the youth.
Prof. Robert Yennah, chairman of the AIDEC Group of Companies, organisers of the event, said that going digital is the new norm for doing business and engaging with customers.
“The digital mindset and technical resources enable the harnessing and use of data to make better and faster decisions in order to grow, blossom and be more profitable.”
The Africa Digital Forum was held under the auspices of the Africa Integrated Development and Communications Consultancies (AIDEC) and aimed at fashioning out ways to embrace digital solutions for Africa, with Ghana playing a leadership role.