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Opinion | Politics

Dr Mahamudu Bawumia: era-defining, mold-breaking futuristic avatar

Now that the dust has settled or is settling on the fallout from Dr Bawumia’s major presidential candidacy speech on February 7, it presents a good time to do some reflection. A lot has been said or written in the aftermath of the speech, but time presents a good opportunity to think about the broad narratives, ideas, and major messages. Some have also said the speech was big on infrastructure, and building things and attention was given to tangible materialistic things while being short on ideas, vision, and mindset-oriented issues. This article hopes to address such concerns as well.

If one paid close attention, it will become clear what the deeper, broader, and intrinsic message the Vice President sought to present to Ghanaians really was. Stripped of the political or personal lens through which one might tend to view the Vice President’s speech, it is indeed possible to peer into the heart and extract certain underlying philosophies that underpin his discourse.

There are several major big themes and underlying philosophies or ideologies (mindset of possibilities, inclusive growth, inventiveness among others) that can be unearthed in the speech. The present thematic and ideological analysis may not touch on all of them, but it is entirely possible to focus on at least one narrative or idea. At the core, we can infer or deduce that the Vice President is trying to usher Ghana into an era of outside-the-box thinking, innovation/inventiveness, breaking the status quo, defying business-as-usual norms, breaking boundaries, and enhancing creative thinking to provide results and solutions that will better the lives of Ghanaians.

In terms of making meaning from the speech, deciphering his values and peering into what lies behind the communicative acts, it is clear that the Vice President is someone who defies convention, thinks creatively or divergently about Ghana and how to specifically improve the quality of life for citizens. He is a pacesetter with a problem-solving and mold-breaking personality, willing to defy convention to think innovatively for solutions that will bring qualitative change and improvements in the lives of everyday citizens.

And this is probably what we need as a nation now. We have tried the same things over and over again for several decades now. We have been stuck in the conventional, traditional way of doing things in ways that we are comfortable with. The time has come for Ghana to shed off the usual or the status quo and embrace the future. The time has come for our country to live up to its reputation as a trend-setting, history-making, era-defying and norm-setting leader of the African continent. The time has come to be a bit disruptive, to challenge preconceived notions and embrace change or new systems through the power of digitalization.

Our nation has always been a continental and global pace-setter. For many people in Africa and the black race or emancipation movement, Ghana has always set the pace or been a source of inspiration That is who we are; that is our identity. It is an identity and an image etched in stone and history as a result of the efforts of our forbearers who won independence for Ghana at a time when it wasn’t the norm—through their courage, ingenuity, creativity, forward-thinking and future mindedness thereby setting the pace for continental and black liberation all over the world.

That time has come again. By undergirding his governance philosophy with digitalization, innovation and inventiveness, Dr Bawumia is appealing to Ghanaians to re-discover their identity as leaders and pacesetters of Africa. Digitalization is a major determinant and critical element of societal growth and human development all over the world. In fact, the kind of efficient, prosperous and advanced society we all aspire for is predicated on our ability to step up to the pedestal and take advantage of the global march towards human advancement through the transformative power of digitization and technology.

Instead of being timid, restrained or shy about it, we must embrace, imbibe and fully integrate or mainstream digitization and technology in every aspect of our lives and society. This will bring observable, and monumental change to our society in a practical way. Dr Bawumia represents that courage, boldness, pacesetting non-conformist mindset, mentality, or ideology we need to make quantum leaps in our developmental agenda. Our nation has always prided itself as a continental powerhouse. How can we continue to claim such a reputation in the 21st century if we continue to be mired in the old stymied systems and technologies of yesteryear?

We, as a nation and society, cannot afford to be left behind. Africa cannot afford to be left once again in the shadows of human advancement. Our Vice President, Dr Bawumia wants to make sure of that. This is what accounts for his zealous advocacy particularly when it comes to digitization or technology. He, indeed, wants us to live up to our historical reputation as continental and global leaders—this time as technological leaders and pacesetters.

He wants us to take advantage of the era we are living in which is predominantly defined by technology. And let’s face it, technology is indeed moving at a fast pace. What I believe needs to be communicated more forcefully is that such technology isn’t just good for the sake of technology itself but that it can and does hold the potential to improve our quality of life, provide jobs, expand opportunities, spur entrepreneurship, induce businesses growth and generally lead to a better quality of life for us all.

There is no sector where digitalization will not provide added benefits or efficiency. In agriculture for instance, it has the powerful potential to enhance mechanized systems, provide more efficient forms of irrigation, facilitate digital platforms and access to wider markets thereby increasing productivity and incomes for many smallholder farmers, reducing food prices, and reducing hunger and poverty. And this is just one sector. Yes, digitalization holds the powerful potential to put money in our pockets, and food on the table, and open up greater opportunities. Indeed, with expanded databases and wider reach, digitalization can bring additional revenue and usher the nation into massive infrastructural and developmental growth.

Digitalization as a governance principle will lead to dramatic and extraordinary improvements in every single facet of human life as Ghanaians. It will lead us to the kind of advanced society and the level of development we so much desire and aspire to. This is the clarion call of the current Vice President of the republic and aspiring President. Our nation has a rendezvous with the future; we either embrace it or risk being left behind.

DISCLAIMER: The Views, Comments, Opinions, Contributions and Statements made by Readers and Contributors on this platform do not necessarily represent the views or policy of Multimedia Group Limited.


DISCLAIMER: The Views, Comments, Opinions, Contributions and Statements made by Readers and Contributors on this platform do not necessarily represent the views or policy of Multimedia Group Limited.



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