For the time being, carry your passport when traveling – Bawumia to Ghanaians

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Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia has said the Ghana card is enfranchising all Ghanaians to improve financial accessibility and also helping the security services in the fight against fraudulent activities.

In a recent feature in the February issue of PAV Magazine, the Veep lauded the Akufo-Addo government and also spoke about the impact of digitalization for the subregion.

“As a result, Ghana will be one of only a handful of countries where a national identification card also constitutes an e-passport, an illustration of the opportunities of digitisation. I will of course update citizens on developments concerning the activation of the e-passport feature, but discussions are positive.”

Dr Bawumia added, “For the time being, I urge travelers to, as always, bring their passport and other forms of the required documentation with them. Additionally, citizens should continue to apply for their own Ghana Card so that they can be part of this digital revolution.”

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In an exclusive interview with PAV, Dr Bawumia sheds light on progress with key segments of the agenda of President Akufo Addo under his purview, COVID 19, and other seminal developments across the continent.

Vice President Bawumia – Thanks for accepting to answer our questions, could we start with a synopsis of how Ghana is doing politically, economically, and socially?

The last two years during the COVID-19 pandemic have been difficult for countries across the world, regardless of their level of development. Despite these challenges, I believe that Ghana’s political, economic, and social foundations are relatively strong, and our future is bright.

Politically, we are a robust multi-party democracy (we have been since 1992) with free and fair elections and peaceful transitions of power. Despite our political differences, Ghanaians have experienced authoritarianism in the past and we place too high a value on our democratic and human rights to give them up now.

In terms of our economy, we remain, irrespective of the damage of the pandemic, an attractive destination for foreign investment and a pioneer in the fields of digitisation and the democratisation of technology. The government of H.E. President Akufo-Addo has a plan in place for reducing the deficit, fostering public-private commercial partnerships, and improving tax collection. A stable economic environment will support rising living standards and our exceptional public services.

In the face of a deadly pandemic, Ghanaians have demonstrated the strength of our country’s social contract. Lockdown rules were respected by the vast majority of the population and every effort was made to comply with social distancing guidelines and government advice to wear masks. As a result, society was able to open gradually over the course of 2021, allowing Ghanaians to not only return to their livelihoods but also to reconnect with their loved ones.

President Akufo-Addo is the embodiment of hard work, public service, and generosity of spirit, and we share the same hopes and vision for Ghana, says Dr Bawumia

How has it been like working with President Akufo-Addo for the past six or seven years now?

It has been an honour working alongside H.E. President Akufo-Addo, a leader who is the embodiment of hard work, public service, and generosity of spirit. We have always worked very well with one another, and we share the same hopes and dreams for Ghana. The President is the boss, and my role is to assist him to implement his vision.

Under H.E.’s leadership since 2017, Ghana has experienced significant economic success, with annual GDP growth surpassing 6% in the lead up to the pandemic and with the World Bank predicting a return to this rate later this year. As one of the first countries to ratify the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) in 2018, we have signified our commitment to free trade as the best way of generating increased FDI and fostering diplomatic relations with countries around the world. Indeed, our capital, Accra, is the Secretariat of the AfCFTA and is the base of operations for officials implementing the agreement. The President’s position as Chairman of ECOWAS also signifies our administration’s dedication to regional trade and co-operation with our neighbours.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the President and his government’s sheer determination to protect our citizens certainly helped us to steer the country through the worst of the crisis. Fortunately, the road ahead looks far more positive than it did in 2020, largely as a result of our government’s early action in mitigating the effects of the virus, as well as our successful vaccination programme.

I look forward to working with the President in the years to come, ensuring that our policy platform continues to result in beneficial outcomes for all Ghanaians.

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