Economist and Professor of Finance at the University of Ghana, Godfred Bokpin

Economics Professor at the University of Ghana has said that the coronavirus outbreak forcing people to work from home reveals gaps in the country’s digital landscape.

Professor Godfred Bokpin said it presents an opportunity for everybody to upgrade their digital literacy.

Speaking on Joy FM’s Super Morning Show Tuesday, he identified some issues with connectivity, data costs and lack of technological infrastructure which can support and complement the ‘work from home’ concept. 

Citing the University of Ghana as an example, the academic disclosed that even though the institution has a system to facilitate distance learning, management has had to scale up to almost 100% in a short while.

This, he said, brings additional problems for not only staff but also students who are geographically scattered across the country.

“We are trying to put our lectures online and it hasn’t been that easy. We have some kind of online, distance education system but now we are trying to scale up close to 100%.”

“It hasn’t been easy for us; in terms of the necessary digital infrastructure and even in terms of faculty using the system. Then we add the geographically dispersed students who have all gone to their various homes and that brings about recognising issues like the connectivity in their areas.”

“So these are not optimal moments for us,” he stressed.

The Economist believes that acknowledging this lack thereof, may “be a defining moment for the next phase in the industrial revolution” which Ghana is looking for. 

“It will be predicated on ‘network readiness’ where today we talk about artificial intelligence, 3D-printing, nanotechnology, and machine learning.”

He added that it is of importance that everybody, not only businesses but individuals also begin to upgrade their digital literacy because that is where the world is heading.

“When we talk about some of the businesses picking up from where they left off, they’ll need to rely on the usage of technology more, going forward because the world would not be the same again,” after coronavirus.