Professor Takyiwaa Manuh, Director of the Institute for African Studies, University of Ghana, Legon said the implementation of e-governance was being hampered by problems mainly in the government-to-citizen and government-to-government sectors. She said under the government-to-citizen sector, the challenge was to address obstacles such as access and knowledge while the government-to-government called for ability and commitment.
Presenting a paper at the just ended three-day ICT for government conference and exhibition in Accra, Prof. Manuh said access referred not only to the fact that broad sections of populations did not have net access adding, “a broad notion of access move beyond a mere technical access.
“It includes the way in which information is provided,” she said. Prof. Manuh said providing e-government information and services in several Ghanaian languages was an absolute necessity.
“E-Government is fundamentally different from e-business because it entails more responsibilities on the supply side: Citizens are not mere customers of government…” she said.
Prof. Manuh said decentralising e-governance meant expanding access to e-governance services beyond the 10 regional information offices to the offices of the district assemblies.
Besides, she said there was the need to link traditional media, which must manifest itself in the creation of interactive radio and television formats that enabled callers to use and listeners to be informed about e-government services. Prof. Manuh said government was faced with the challenge to train staff in the use of e-governance tools, and the resistance to create a responsibility to sensitise government agencies on the importance of e-governance.
She said it was imperative to focus not on what was technically possible in an ideal world but how information and services could be made easily accessible in the real world.