The Internet; A weapon of rapid development in Ghana
Ghana is one of the fastest growing economies in the world. It offers one of the most stable and attractive business environments in the region. According to the Dalberg report, Ghana recorded a GDP growth of 14.4% in 2011. This historic West African country is blessed with rich resources such as gold and cocoa and is also developing its national oil resources, which are estimated to produce 120 000 barrels per day. Since the year 2000, the internet has become a very important component of many African and Ghanaian businesses and is fast becoming very useful for rapid development. This is visible in many sectors of our economy as stated below.
*Health - It is often said that a strong and fit nation is the basis for economic development. This is because when the citizens are healthy, general work force is high and productivity increases; which positively affects growth and development. The internet has played a key role in the improvement of the health sector by facilitating research and enhancing the use of fast, sophisticated technologies such as MRI’s and high technology gadgets and devices.
*Research and Education - Knowledge is power. Therefore, the acquisition of knowledge is very important in every nation’s bid to grow and develop. The use of the internet in advanced research into various fields has made Ghana a repository of vast amounts of information. Research is still ongoing into various technologies cutting across various fields and industries. Education has also become very simple with ICT being taught at various institutional levels in Ghana, making it easy and simple for students to use the internet and cope with high advanced trends and technologies. By one click of a button, people get access to all kinds of information about specific things they otherwise wouldn’t have had access to.
*Agriculture - This is linked mainly with sales and online marketing. In the past, agricultural produce was sold in physical markets and supermarkets alone. These days, the impact of internet in our lives, has made it possible to market agricultural produce online and get consumers to check, buy and get the produce delivered to them. This increases sales and relatively has a high economic impact on the nation
*Telecommunication - In the Telecommunication industry also, the internet is being used extensively and this is causing competition among various Telecom companies in Ghana; as to who provides the fastest internet service. This indirectly creates more jobs and increases the amount of investments that these companies make in the country.
The more the investment, the better the chances of providing the best services for the subscribers and the more the profit. Moreover, the current mobile coverage is estimated at about 77%, which means that more and more people are using the internet by the day; thus increasing the purchase of smartphones and internet data. These products and services are taxed and this generates revenue to the government hence aiding rapid national development.
In the Tourism sector, the use of internet makes it easier for individuals and tourists to find destinations and search for information about places they want to visit. The use of many online web applications to book hotels , order for food and rent cars for a safe and easy tourist trip also employs internet services. When this value chain is complete, the eventual winner is the economy which receives a huge boost as revenue through tourism increases.
The internet has come to stay and its many benefits to humankind is enormous. Africa has benefitted a lot and Ghana as a country is developing rapidly through many great uses of the internet. The future only looks brighter with more technological advancements and measures being put in place to make the internet faster and safer to use.