Ghana to become first blockchain-powered government in Africa — Dr Bawumia

By Godwill Arthur-Mensah

Accra, May 9, GNA – Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia says the next stage of Ghana’s digitalisation journey is to become the first blockchain-powered government in Africa to fight corruption.

The Blockchain technology is capable of identifying and discovering any changes in digital data to trace all transactions in the governance space.

That, he believed, would promote transparency and enable the Government to fight corruption in its entirety.

Vice President Bawumia announced this on Thursday at the 14th Regional Conference and Annual General Meeting of Heads of Anti-Corruption Agencies in Commonwealth Africa, in Accra.

The week-long conference is on the theme: “Strengthening Institutions and Promoting Transparency: A Means of Fighting Corruption in Commonwealth Africa”.

It attracted 20 Commonwealth African countries to deliberate on ways to make corruption unattractive on the continent and promote wealth creation.

Dr Bawumia highlighted some of the digital initiatives the Government had implemented since 2017, which were yielding immense benefits for the nation.

For instance, the portal, a one-stop platform for paying public services electronically and enabled the government to collect GHc201 billion since 2020, was worth mentioning, he said.

With the digitalisation of passport application, he said applications increased from 347,000 to 752,000 recorded by the Passport Office while its revenues jumped from GHc12 million to GHc94 million between 2018 and 2023.

Additionally, the integration of the public sector databases through the use of GhanaCard enabled the Controller and Accountant General’s Department to expunge 29,000 ‘ghost’ pensioners from the public sector payroll and saving the nation GHC480 million annually.

Dr Bawumia said the use of unique identity card (GhanaCard) enabled the Government to detect 44,707 ghost names on the National Service Scheme payroll and saved the nation GHc356 million.

He entreated Anti-Corruption Agencies in Africa to invest in digital forensics and tools to assist them to track, trace and distract the corruption value chain.

The anti-graft institutions in Africa must also acquire Customised Security Operation Centres to enable them to fight corruption networks.

The Vice President said Ghana could fight corruption more efficiently if the Central Bank finally introduced the Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC), otherwise known as the eCedi.

“The eCedi will be our ultimate weapon in our fight against corruption because it will make it easy to track the movements of money and identify suspicious activities,” he said.

It would also enable the Bank of Ghana to ensure high-level transparency, reduce the risk of fraud, tax avoidance and money laundering.