“Such a time as this” A man for the times; a man for the moment

By Etse Sikanku

 

“…And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?”

The story of Esther and Mordecai is one of the greatest stories of the Bible for many reasons. There are a lot of lessons to be drawn from that powerful story but for now I’ll like to focus on something that struck me after listening to Esther 4: 14.

There is a great spiritual lesson to be learned there; which is that we were all born for a specific purpose ingrained in specific moments and it is something we have to be conscious of as well as seek dutifully to fulfill. It also demonstrates that when we find ourselves in “royal” positions or high positions, it is not necessarily for our own gain but for a larger and higher purpose beyond self—a certain utilitarian goal; the good of all.

The other thing that struck me after listening to this passage recently one was the idea that moments, times and seasons are important. And that it is very critical to first of all recognize important moments and times and secondly to cogently meet those moments and times with the needed resources, skills and personalities.

My mind then went to the moment we are in as a nation, continent and generally as a global community and what would constitute a major characteristic or feature of the modern world. The word technology came up. There is no doubt that we live in a technologically deterministic era in which high speed internet and digital applications have become the dominant feature of the modern world. In fact, my mind went to the many conferences I had attended and many materials I’d read which pointedly, without reservations, demonstrated that if Africa was to make significant progress technological innovation will be a deciding factor.

I remembered listening to professionals, technocrats and experts at professional and academic conferences extol the need for Africa to move speedily towards integration, mainstreaming and foregrounding technological adoption including digitalization as a major national drive and culture.
I remembered hearing inspiring stories about change and transformation in the world about how many sectors such as the food chain process, industrialization, health care and education were impacted by technology. When it came to agriculture, I remember reading about how the adoption of new technology and digital systems had not just opened markets but affected how food is grown, produced and ultimately distributed.

Clearly, it played a landmark role in tackling poverty and reducing hunger.
I remembered reading about how digitization had spurred participation, enhanced democracy, ensured efficient service delivery in the public sector including the massive transformation in the justice delivery system and the march towards curbing corruption.

I remembered listening to Kenya’s president, the super inspirational, ever futuristic Willam Samoi Ruto talk about how “digital policies across the continent will fast-track Africa’s ambition to position itself as the foremost global trade powerhouse powered by the African Continental Free Trade Area Framework” at Uhuru Gardens. And here I quote a bit more from President Ruto, one of the most respected and revered presidents in Africa right now

. He once stated pointedly that “Agricultural innovation and technology remain key to poverty reduction”. At other platforms he has maintained that “innovation has the potential to introduce economies to the possibilities of the digital economy and increase intra-Africa trade, thus accelerating regional integration.”

His Excellency William Ruto has also extoled the virtues of a digital identity platform something that Dr Bawumia has spearheaded in Ghana through the Ghana card with attendant benefits including the creation of a credible and useful database system for planning, policy making, private sector growth and development.

Indeed, many technocrats have said that the digital arena is one the largest avenues for job creation for the youth in Africa emphasizing that technology presents a multitude of opportunities for business and jobs in the contemporary era. Digitization will enhance deliberative democracy by giving every Ghanaian the opportunity to participating the national conversations.

I remembered the times and moment we find ourselves as a nation. Undoubtedly, we live in a digital-centred era. We live in a technological deterministic era. We live in an era of technology and innovation. Then, I was reminded of the most vocal, credible, and actionable voice when it comes to digitalization in Ghana. Of course, your guess is as good as mine. I was reminded of the modern-day apostle of digitization; the tireless prognosticator; the relentless advocate and the unapologetic emissary of the digitalization gospel in Ghana—Dr Mahamudu Bawumia.

This happens to be an example of a man meeting the moment, a man for the times. A man for such a time; such a time as this—such a time of technological ubiquity, such a time of digital proliferation. Such a time. Such a man. Such a moment. Dr Mahamudu Bawumia: a choice for the time; a choice for the moment and a choice for such a time of digital transformation. In a digital age, we need an apostle of digitalization. An apostle of digitalization for a digital age: Dr Mahamudu Bawuma. A man for such a time.

 

G. Etse Sikanku is a political and communication analyst.

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