Ghana to overhaul agric with digital technology — Prez Mahama

Plans are underway to overhaul agriculture through the application of digital technology, President John Dramani Mahama has said.

With over 31 million mobile line subscribers in Ghana, he said the government was poised to apply mobile phone technology to reach out to farmers with new ideas, to improve production and their incomes.

Contributing to discussions at the 2015 Forbes Africa Forum in Brazzaville, Congo last

Tuesday, the President said digitised agriculture had the power to alleviate poverty and create wealth for the people.

Digital revolution
The French magazine, Forbes Africa, organised the forum on the theme, "The Digital Revolution: Rocket: Fuel for African Growth".

Over 1,000 participants, including experts in information technology, agriculture, private business people and government officials from Africa and other parts of the world, attended the forum.

Forbes believes that although digital development is gradually taking root in Africa in the form of mobile phone penetration and internet connectivity, there is more to do to reap the expected results.

Forbes magazine, therefore, sought to use the two-day forum to, among other things, push African governments and the private sector to invest in infrastructure and training of Internet-related activities, to drive continental development.

Africa has over 700 million mobile subscribers, which is more than that of the United States and Europe.

Mechanised agriculture
President Mahama indicated that if mechanised agriculture was developed to the fullest, many of the unemployed youth would be able to find jobs.

In that context, he promised that the Youth in Agriculture Programme would be aggressively pursued with the application of the right technologies.

He also told the gathering that the Ghana Commodity Exchange, which was recently launched, was in line with the digital revolution in agriculture.

Social media
President Mahama welcomed the rate at which the youth were taking to social media to help shape governance and democracy in Ghana.

He said as President, he took views expressed on good governance and democratic development on social media seriously, adding that any politician who ignored the power of the social media did so at his or her own peril.

Technological resources
President Mahama proposed the sharing of technological resources among African countries in a larger continental integration agenda to alleviate poverty and create wealth for its people.

He said technology was advancing at a fast pace and Africa would be better off sharing its technological resources rather than applying them individually.

President Mahama said with the Information Age rapidly changing the world, computer literacy could not be downplayed by nations.

He stated that digital revolution in Africa would enable the continent to leapfrog into the Information Age, where knowledge was the most valuable commodity for growth.

Other speakers
Other speakers at the forum included the President of Congo, Mr Denis Sassou Nguesso, the Cote d’Ivoire President, Mr Alhassane Ouattara, and the former Israeli President, Shimon Peres.

President Mahama later held a closed door meeting with Mr Peres on the sidelines of the forum.

Earlier, he had met with Mr Nguesso and Mr Ouattara at the Presidential Villa.


By: Kwame Asare Boadu 

Date: Wednesday, 22 July 2015