All is set for the issuance of National Identification numbers, better known as Ghana Card numbers, to newborn babies, the Vice-President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, has stated.
This follows the successful integration of the databases of the Births and Deaths Registry, the National Identification Authority (NIA) and the Ghana Health Service (GHS).
The Vice-President said the first baby was issued with the national identification card number last Friday as part of a system test-run.
Dr Bawumia said this at the 75th anniversary of Ghana National College in Cape Coast last Saturday.
The anniversary celebration was on the theme: “75 Years of holistic education, nurturing leaders for the 21st Century”.The occasion was also used to inaugurate a new science laboratory built by the old students of the school. Dr Bawumia said from next month, babies would be issued with Ghana Cards and birth certificates at the same time at the health facilities where they were born.The Vice-President said hospitals across the country were also being connected digitally, beginning with the regional hospitals, to ensure that clients were able to access health records at every hospital across the country.
By next year, Dr Bawumia said, about 2,000 health facilities would have been connected digitally.
Dr Bawumia said the government’s ongoing digitalisation agenda was ample testimony to its appreciation of Artificial Intelligence and commitment to ensure the country was not left behind in the fourth industrial revolution.
“We are focused on pursuing digitalisation as part of our economic strategy for the fourth industrial revolution which is upon us,” the Vice-President said, adding that there was empirical evidence that digital technology would create jobs and boost productivity.
Preparing for future
The Vice-President said it was clear that countries that failed to digitalise would remain uncompetitive in the fourth industrial revolution and that Ghana was preparing to be part of the revolution.
Dr Bawumia said the Electricity Company of Ghana, after digitalising its operations, had seen improvement in revenue collection immensely, saying the company which was making GH¢450 million a month now mobilised about GH¢1 billion a month, while the Passport Office, which made GH¢1 million a year now made GH¢64 million a year.
He observed that since 2017, the number of Ghanaians with tax identification numbers had increased from four per cent to about 85 per cent.
The Vice-President commended the school for the great strides it had made, saying it had a unique history and role in the country’s independence, having provided holistic education for the past 75 years and nurtured many for the nation’s development.
The Headmaster of Ghana National, Ato Sarpong, expressed worry at the abandonment of some projects in the school.
“The construction of the school’s assembly hall, despite being 20 per cent complete, remains in a state of uncertainty.
The 12-unit classroom block has been halted at 50 per cent completion, while the construction of two separate blocks of two-storey dormitories along with teachers’ quarters has reached a standstill at 50 per cent, resulting in a shortage of accommodation for both staff and students,” he stated.
Mr Sarpong said another major challenge the school faced was irregular flow of water, while the washrooms at the classroom blocks had been a major hindrance to proper sanitation in the college which required immediate attention.
He called for more furniture for the classrooms to enhance teaching and learning, modern gadgets for effective teaching, learning and administrative purposes such as projectors, computers and their accessories.
The Medical Director at Inkoom Hospital, Dr Ebenezer Inkoom, who was the guest speaker, urged parents and guardians to engage and collaborate with the school to create the enabling environment to encourage students to attain their fullest potential.
A former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Education, Winneba, Professor Jophus Anamuah-Mensah, who chaired the occasion, said the school was set up to be science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) biased and pledged to support efforts at strengthening STEM education in the school.