Veep Dr. Bawumia implores African leaders to use technology to improve lives

| Updated Oct 12, 2017 at 8:23pm



Ghana’s Vice President, Dr. Mahamadu Bawumia, has asked African leaders to take advantage of advancements in technology to better the lives of their citizens.

According to Dr. Bawumia, the application of basic technology like the mobile phone should allow people to bypass pre-existing technology and infrastructure which have had some negative effects on the world.

Dr. Bawumia was speaking at the World Government Summit which brings together prominent leaders from the public and private sectors, as well as international thought leaders and pioneers in Dubai.

In a discussion on the theme: “Leapfrogging Development" "The African Story,” Dr. Bawumia said leveraging the many uses of technology would speed up the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) so crucial to Africa’s development.

The concept of Leapfrogging is usually used in the context of sustainable development for developing countries, as a theory of development which may accelerate development by skipping inferior, less efficient, more expensive or more polluting technologies and industries and move directly to more advanced ones.

“The SDGs, these are targets that we all subscribe to (ending hunger and poverty, improving education and health etc., and we have to try to achieve all of these by 2030, within the UN framework. It is something that you see countries working towards. For many countries, going towards the attainment of these targets is an area where you could leverage technology to leapfrog”, Dr. Bawumia said.

“In Agriculture, education and health, we can leverage technology, so I see this decade for Africa as one where we’re going to move towards the attainment of these Sustainable Development Goals. There is so much technology available, even via the mobile phone.” He added.

Dr. Bawumia also stressed that the decision to seize the many opportunities offered by technology to develop the continent will have to be made by Africans.

“Africa is a huge continent with huge resources. What we have not done over the years is to leverage all these resources to develop the continent. But increasingly you’re seeing some transformation taking place in many countries.”

“What we’re realizing, and what many countries are understanding, is that if you’re going to leapfrog you really have to lead that charge yourself. Nobody else is going to come and say ‘hey, you have to leapfrog’ because you’re competing with everybody else. You’re in a globally competitive environment. You have to do it yourself.”

The fifth annual World Government Summit currently underway in Dubai, under the patronage of Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and ruler of Dubai, the WGS 2017 kicked off on Sunday.

More than 4,000 prominent personalities from 139 countries are participating in the event, reflecting the leading stature of the summit on regional and international levels and the high interest from governments, global organizations.

Mohammed Al-Gergawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs and Chairman of the WGS, said: “The Summit gathers together the largest international organizations with the most prominent technology firms, on a stage in front of 138 governments from all over the world. They will shape the future of the world and boost the readiness of governments across all sectors.”