The government has introduced a one-stop platform to enable citizens easily access government services, simplify payments for public services, ensure prompt payments for the services and promote transparency and visibility of internally generated funds.
Known as Ghana.gov, and accessible via the website www.ghana.gov.gh or shortcode *222# on any mobile phone, whether smart or ‘yam’, Ghana.GOV is a payments and revenue collection platform that provides a single point of access to all services of the Ministries, Departments and Agencies of the government.
Built from scratch, the platform consists of four main components: a web portal, mobile app and USSD interface; a payment processing component; a notification component; and a complaint submission medium.
At a launch ceremony at the Jubilee House yesterday, Vice-President Mahamudu Bawumia expressed delight that Ghanaian expertise had been utilized to solve a Ghanaian problem.
“The Ghana Card, the Digital Address System, the Mobile Money Interoperability, Ghana.Gov and the Universal Q Code are the foundational enablers in our effort to maximize the potential of digital technologies in Ghana’s transformation.
“I am excited that, once again, we did not have to go beyond our shores to develop and manage a platform like this. Indeed, the spirit of collaboration and innovation exhibited by the local technology companies (Hubtel, Expresspay and IT Consortium) who are powering this payments platform is most admirable.
“Their collaboration spearheaded by the Ministry of Finance with support from the Ministry of Communications also involved our own National Information Technology Agency – which I am told is doing a good job hosting and managing the call center supporting this platform,” he said.
Dr Bawumia explained that, among others, this single payments platform is expected to help grow government revenue, redefine how citizens engage with government, and help boost Ghana’s international profile rankings.
“It is estimated that about 10 to 15 per cent of government collections are lost through inefficiencies, theft and other accounting schemes. Going digital means that we can improve our revenue collections by an estimated Three Billion Cedis (GHS 3 billion) annually.
“Beyond the financial benefits of Ghana.GOV, the platform will also transform how we all connect to Government. There is currently no official Government of Ghana mobile application for the over nine million smartphone users and the more than 30 million mobile users in Ghana. The soon-to-be-published Ghana.GOV Citizen App will have important features that will change the way we connect to official information, report issues in our communities and exchange critical data,” he stated.
Dr Bawumia added that the government’s aim of making Ghana a globally competitive market is anchored in the belief that increasing access to public services through technology will have a strong positive impact in the general ease of doing business within Ghana.
Foreign direct investments
This, he added, will boost Ghana’s ranking among other nations, and thereby help grow its foreign direct investments.
“Ghana.GOV will offer a simple and single user experience for all government services and will make it easy for everyone to find and pay for government services. The days where you have to make several phone calls or look for a middleman just to get information and help on a government service is coming to an end,” he remarked.
As of now, Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), Passport Office, Lands Commission, National Service Secretariat, Food and Drugs Authority, National Information Technology Authority, Registrar General’s Department and the National Schools Inspectorate Authority have all been onboarded onto the Ghana.gov portal.
The team is in the process of onboarding Public Procurement Authority, Data Protection Commission, National Petroleum Authority, Minerals Commission, Commission for Technical and Vocational Education and Training and Ghana Post.