…And Ghana has no excuse to sit on the fence
The Chief Executive Officer for the Margins Group, Mr. Moses Kwesi Baiden, Jnr., has made an oratorical attempt to jolt the national conscience to what he says is the lightning unfold of the 4th Revolution.
According to him, after the first industrial revolution had caused the shift from rural agrarian economy to industrialization, the second revolution had ushered in electricity and the steam engine and the third revolution had ushered in the computer age, the world is now gravitating quickly towards digitization as the 4th revolution unfolds.
“This 4th industrial revolution is the mother of all revolutions and will alter the world fundamentally and dramatically and as a country and as businesses we need to carve out a sound vision and be deliberately involved in a major way for the sake of our children and the generations yet unborn.
“Imagine a $100 billion company domiciled in Ghana, that creates jobs for thousands of employees; a law-abiding corporate, able to lock horns with global behemoths. This is not a fantasy; this is the new reality where innovation is not restrained by unaffordable capital cost. The 4th revolution is here, it is the age of digitisation. A new reality in which a kid from Nima can hone his knowledge and skills to achieve global pre-eminence,” Mr. Baiden said at this year’s Ghana CEOs meeting held in Accra.
With President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in attendance, Mr. Kwesi Baiden, Jnr., said matter-of-factly that Ghana, which was unable to participate in the first and second revolutions, but contributed only marginally to the third revolution, has no excuse but to participate in the unfolding fourth.
“This 4th time, we have run out of reasons to fail. Mr. President, you have asked us not to be spectators in the governance of our country and we hear you. We cannot in this 4th industrial revolution be spectators or sit by to import knowledge and systems wholesale without Ghanaian industry and business’ significant participation.
“Our companies must invest in knowledge in this 4th revolution to grow wealth here in Ghana and keep it here, and our government must create the environment to promote our companies, based on merit and performance.”
To do this, he said both government and the private sector have complimentary roles to play.
Among others, he said the government should make a committed roll-out of a national identification system that would essentially digitize information of the citizenry and thus make it easy for one citizen to track and easily do transaction with another in the modern digitized economy.
Another important step, he said, was for e-government to enable Government to cut out too much human meddling in government transactions that breed bureaucratic delays, bottle necks and corruption.
E-commerce, the third prescription by Mr. Kwesi Baiden, Jnr., is a feature of the 4th Industrial revolution whose factors of production are more knowledge and brain power, rather than the traditional factors of production – Land, Labour and Capital.
“We can teach our young population, armed with digital devices, to build digital applications that will create the global companies of today and tomorrow and teach our people to scale globally without infrastructure, a phenomenon described in the new business jargon as, ‘INFRASTRUCTURELESS SCALING’ which describes the new digital companies like; 1. UBER – the biggest taxi company without taxis 2. Google – the world’s biggest library with no shelves of books. 3. FACEBOOK – The world’s biggest publisher with no newspapers 4. AIRBnB – The world’s biggest hotel with no hotel rooms 5. SNAPCHAT – The world’s biggest photo studio with no cameras.
“I can go on and on from Amazon and the retail revolution and Netflix, the world’s biggest movie theatre with no theatres. Giant global companies are being built right under our watch in university labs and garages with new knowledge and new tools. We can and must harness this opportunity. This knowledge is available in virtual classrooms to all.”
Broadly, he said government’s role in the 4th industrial revolution are cut out and include formulating policies to drive digitization, creating laws that facilitate the digitization and creating the right climate for digital living.
The fourth role, he said, is for government to realign Education to spawn a knowledge culture that is more digitization oriented, and, in this regard, he said, Ghana stood in great advantage to gain because of a population that is rich with youth.
“I believe that with the right vision, focus and determination, we can, in only a decade focus on the adolescents and children population aged 0-19 and with the right education, knowledge, and tools, enable them to compete at the highest level globally to lift this country to the first world. The statistics is in our favour. According to the Statistics Services Department, the child and adolescent population of Ghana (as at 2010) Ghanaians aged 0-19 years is 48.9% (12,060.387 0f 24,658,823). We still have time to fill these young minds with the right content with all the information and knowledge that has been digitised to equip them with the capacity and tools to be in the vanguard of the digital revolution, and not the rear as mere consumers of technology,” Mr. Baiden, Jnr.. had said.
The Margins Group CEO said with the creation of the right environment by the government, the private sector would then have the right stimulus to grow and the motivation to create jobs.
According to him, the potential economic impact that comes with digitization can catapult Ghana into first world status at lightning speed.
“Digitization index score for the poorest citizens over 10 years! If Ghana can achieve this, it will move us to the first world in a decade.”
According to research, if emerging markets could double the Digitization Index score for their poorest citizens over the next 10 years, the result would be a global US$4.4 trillion gain in nominal GDP, an extra US$930 billion in the cumulative household income for the poorest, and 64 million new jobs for today’s socially and economically most marginal groups. This would enable 580 million people to climb above the poverty line.
“All aspects of our lives will be significantly improved by digitising our economy. Mobile and Digital money payments, Supply chain management, access to capital loans, interest rates, agriculture and commodity exchanges, stock markets, transport business and industrial efficiencies will all be greatly enhanced and this will increase the velocity of economic expansion and wealth creation in our country,” Moses Kwesi Baiden, Jnr., said.
He pointed at research outcomes reported by the consulting firm Booze Group, which has said that digitisation provided an additional US$193 billion to the world economy and 6 million jobs worldwide in 2011. The most advanced economies (North America and Western Europe) accounted for approximately 29 percent of the output gain, but just 6 percent of the employment impact.
“Emerging economies accounted for 71 percent of the gain in gross domestic product (GDP) and 94 percent of the global employment impact. Booze Group further revealed that an increase of 10 percent in a country’s digitization score fuels a 0.75 percent growth in its GDP per capita,” the Margins Group CEO said.
He listed 12 characteristics of the digitization revolution, including, the fusion of all knowledge and information, analogue and digital in libraries, physical and digitised into big banks of data covering all disciplines, growth of social media, and artificial intelligence programs.
Others are The Internet of Things or machine to machine (M2M) intelligent interaction, increased sophistication of robotics, the advent of digital maps and global positioning systems, the advent of cloud computing and the preponderance of digital devices.
Source: therepublicnewsonline.com/Fiifi Samuels