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Opinions of Monday, 6 May 2024

Columnist: Prof. Etse Sikanku

Dr Mahamudu Bawumia: The quintessential doer

Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia

There are not many politicians who end up matching their rhetoric with action. Dr Mahamudu Bawumia belongs to that limited group with the rare combination of intellectual acumen, practical know-how, noble values, leadership abilities and actionable skills to get things done. And the track record is there to show. Vice President Bawumia is unlike any other Vice President we have had. His tenure has been marked by formidable accomplishments and a political odyssey that has been both consequential and impactful to the wider majority of Ghanaians.

His diligence and devotion to duty provides a useful lesson on public service. He has left his mark on the office of the Vice Presidency through his dogged determination, abiding humility, glaring passion and unassailable commitment. One of the greatest issues of our age is digitization; something Dr Bawumia remains steadfastly committed to.

His abiding faith in Ghana, his belief in the promise of the future sets him apart as a leader for such a time as this; a time when the world is moving into the fourth industrial revolution and fast paced technological advancement, hinged in no small part, on digitalization. And it is Vice President Bawumia’s ambition that Ghana does not get left behind in the march towards modernity. He understands the times we are in, and he has the mindset to meet the times and age we find ourselves.

From spearheading initiatives such as the Ghana Card to mobile money interoperability; from the digital property address system to the paperless port system and from the no guarantor student loan system to the digitization of hospital records, Dr Bawumia has shown that he is a leader who just doesn’t believe in the power of rhetoric but possesses that much needed ability to first of all identify the right problems and then apply himself assiduously to solving them. In short, he is a problem solver.

This problem-solving quality is what led him to accomplish one of the most critical elements necessary for saving and preserving lives in our nation: the delivery of medical supplies in a quick and efficient manner especially to hard to reach and rural areas through the much-famed medical drone delivery system by Zipline. Recently, Zipline made its 1 millionth commercial delivery which happened to be the timely transportation of two bags of IV fluid to a local health facility. Ghana now has the largest medical drone delivery service in the world. It has been hailed by world leaders such as US Vice President Kamala Harris for its extraordinary impact.

One the legacies of Vice President Bawumia which is hardly talked about but extremely imperative for national well being is his championing of the Ghana National Electronic Pharmacy Platform. This was a coordination between the Vice President’s office and the Pharmacy Council of Ghana and stands as a true example of what collaboration looks like. The idea behind this is simple but the benefits are enduring: making pharmaceutical services more accessible to Ghanaians, checking the use of fake drugs boosting the digital economy through pharmaceutical sales. As we say health is wealth and any effort that seeks to speedily or urgently bring care to the sick, reprieve for the dying and in totality ensure the preservation of life and prevention of death should be applauded.

He is an intellectual who believes knowledge must be used productively to solve problems, spur innovation and create products that improve human and general well being of the people. He recognizes that to safeguard the future of this nation and its youth, it is important to expand opportunity by embracing a digital culture in order make life better for all. In this sense he is an intellectual pragmatist who wakes up everyday thinking about how to creatively solve problems rather than pontificate about why something cannot be done.

This is someone who has boldly said he actually enjoys hard work. As Vice President we saw him throw himself at the job rather than take the line of least resistance. He has brought enormous practicality to the office of the Vice President through the many practical things he has done especially, as many will agree, within the digital sphere. This great nation needs someone who has the rare combination of knowledge, intelligence, pragmatism and understands the practical reality of turning ideas into reality as Dr Mahamudu Bawumia has done with several projects.

Despite the chorus of opposition, despite the vituperations of the naysayers, despite the personal and political attacks he has never given up. Instead, he has acted with the courage of his convictions to make life better for the old and young, rich and poor, rural or urban irrespective of the sound of your name or origin of your parents because digitalization works for all.

Let us embrace a leader with a new age mindset who has shown a resilient character willing to follow unchartered paths, create new innovations to bring growth and make life better for all. Let us show the world once again the enterprise, ingenuity, hard work, creativity and just like Dr Bawumia, the compassion we are made of. As a nation, we have always been pacesetters. There is no reason why can’t claim that mantle once again the modern era.

Our forefathers brought hope to many nations in Africa when Ghana became the first nation in Sub-Saharan Africa to gain independence. We can bring the same hope for the future by embracing a digital culture in this age of technological innovation. We can jump ahead of the curve once again with the foremost apostle of digitization—Dr Mahamudu Bawumia—at the helm.

He will lead this great nation towards a new age of innovation, modernity, growth, expanded job opportunities, data-driven systems to spur development, greater efficiency, enrich our lives, set this nation on a path towards advancement and ensure a better life for all.

Prof Etse Sikanku is an international, political and communication analyst and author of the book “The Afrocentric Obama and Lessons on political campaigning”