President Nana Akufo-Addo
PRESIDENT AKUFO-Addo has indicated that government’s deployment of technology and the digitalisation of the country’s economy through the National Identification Card, popularly known as the Ghana Card, will put to rest the high incidence of forged documents.
“Never again will it be that someone, born in this country, will live a full life, die and be buried, without any record of his or her existence. The operations of the Births and Deaths Registry are finally being digitised to make sure that documents issued from that department are accorded the respect they should have,” he asserted.
Presenting his message on the State of the Nation, the President said, “Every child born in this country will be registered, and the date of birth registered will remain your date of birth throughout your life.”
“There will be no school age, no football age, no SSNIT age, and no official age. When we register for National Health Insurance, the details of our identification will be the same as the details on a driving licence, a passport and yes, on our tax identification,” he stressed.
He continued, “Today, we all have addresses at which we can be identified, even if we live, unfortunately for the time being, in a kiosk. And when we die, that inevitable rite of passage will be recorded to mark the end of our life.”
He indicated that the benefits range from being able to give directions to our address for deliveries to being able to gain access to government services without having to go to the ministries.
“The Rural Telephony Project, being undertaken by GIFEC, is working to fill the void created by the telephone operators’ inability or unwillingness to extend their services to areas they deem uneconomical to operate. It is important to extend basic telephone voice and data connectivity to every part of the country, so we leave no one behind,” he said.
He also said government had completed the construction of 80 warehouses, with a combined storage capacity of 80,000 metric tonnes, intimating that their entry into the food production chain is offering better protection to the harvests of farmers.
“There is no doubt that but for the vigorous interventions we have made in agriculture in the past five years, which have made us more self-reliant in our food needs, our country would have been at much greater risk, as the fallout from the dramatic worldwide increases in freight charges hit prices in our markets and on our supermarket shelves,” he posited.
President Akufo-Addo said the cocoa industry had marked a lot of interesting and far-reaching achievements this past year, including producing 1,047,385 tonnes, the highest ever recorded in Ghana’s history.
“Together with our counterparts in Côte d’Ivoire, we have addressed the inequalities in the international marketing system of cocoa, by paying a Living Income Differential of four hundred United States dollars ($400) per tonne of cocoa to our farmers.
“A non-adjustable electronic weighing scale has been introduced for the purchase of cocoa from our cocoa farmers. This scale, which was introduced at the start of the cocoa season in October, has been approved by the Ghana Standards Authority; it cannot be tampered with by purchasers,” he stated.
He added, “Not many people outside the cocoa industry will realise the significance of the introduction of this little bit of technology, but it brings to an end one of the main sources of distrust between cocoa farmers and officialdom.”
He again said the same use of technology to attract more young people into agriculture is continuing with the training of 537 youth in the production of high value vegetables using greenhouse technology.
President Akufo-Addo said a total of 190 of them have been on an 11-month internship in Israel, and they are back with a lot of enthusiasm, adding, “We are expecting great things from them.”
BY Ernest Kofi Adu & Charles Takyi-Boadu