Largest Tier 3 National Data Center in West Africa to be open by NITA
Wednesday, 17 December, 2014
Government Services, ePayment & eCommerce Platform LAUNCHED
Speech by the Director General, NITA – Mr. William Tevie
Good Morning Ladies and Gentlemen, on behalf of the National Information Technology Agency (NITA), I wish to welcome you all to the official launching of the Ghana Electronic Payment Platform.
Online payment has been a major challenge and has stifled e-commerce in this part of the world. Countries like Ghana, Nigeria and some other West African countries are refused online payment due to perceive online fraud.
The e-Ghana project was launched in 2006 to transform the way Government does business and improve government service delivery to citizens and businesses. Since its establishment in 2008, NITA has been in charge of the third component of the e-Ghana project – establishing the e-government infrastructure.
One of the key mandates of NITA is enhancing delivery of government services through the use of ICT. In this direction, NITA has put in place a Government network infrastructure spanning across all regional capitals using the state-of-the-art 4G LTE wireless and fiber optics technologies. A total of 120 LTE base stations is due to be completed by the close of 2015. The 780km long Eastern Corridor Fiber Optics also opens over 27 District on the Eastern corridor to high speed internet access and provides opportunity for mobile operators to provide services to underserved areas through fiber share. A western corridor and oil enclave Fiber optics project is at the last stages of design and will be implemented soon. A pilot data center now enables NITA to provide shared services to MDAs. The National Data Center, a tier 3 facility with over 600 rack space, arguably the largest in West Africa will be ready at the end of this month. Service at the datacenter will be opened to all citizens and businesses in Ghana to continue the transformation process in Ghana using ICT as enshrined in the ICT4AD policy.
In Ghana, even though NITA has set up e-government services platforms where online business can be transacted, payment for these services cannot be done because of the non-existence of a reliable online payment platform.
Under online payment project, a portal infrastructure has been deployed to provide a platform for online submission of application of services through the use of e-Forms, an e-Payment interface for payment of the services, postal and delivery service and Application Security for various Government Agencies.
Online payment types available on the platform include Visa Card & MasterCard (Credit/Debit Cards), e-Transact Card, Airtel Money, MTN Mobile Money, Payall (Cash and Cheque) and Bank Transfer. Postal and Courier Services operating on the platform includes Ghana Post EMS and DHL.
Ladies and gentlemen, the launch of the Ghana Electronic Payment Platform (GEPP) marks a significant development in e-commerce in Ghana. The GEPP will provide online payment for government services, which can be easily intergraded into any e-commerce website by an Application Programming Interface (API).
Ladies and gentlemen, we could not have come this far without the partnership of financial institutions and network operators who have agreed to complete payment on the platform for patrons.
To our technology partners, Aya Technologies, we are grateful to you for enabling us build a secure world-class payment platform. The e-payment has been integrated into all the 11 pilot MDA e-services, which include business registration, tax administration, police search report, just to mention but a few.
We appreciate the cooperation of the pilot MDAs who have made this happen.
After this launch, citizens can buy and pay for government services online from the 11 MDAs, without having to go physically to their premises, as well as the frustration of long waiting periods.
On this note, I will like to once again welcome you and thank you all for coming to this launch.