The Government of Ghana has launched the Ghana Online Mall, an online platform that will enable Ghanaian Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) and businesses to sell locally and globally.
The electronic platform, funded by the government, is stated to enable entrepreneurs to upload certified products or services on the platform at no cost.
The first phase of the project will be from October to December 2018 and will support 10,000 businesses with a full directory, product images, and short videos. The government expects 500,000 businesses to be on the online platform in one year.
How Sustainable Is This Venture?
The government stated that this platform would help employ about 8,000 digital jobs when it is fully operational.
Government e-projects have shown initial potential during launches but most fail to keep up the momentum in the aftermath.
One example is the Ghana Open Data initiative which was launched January 2012 by the National Information Technology Agency (NITA) in partnership with the Web Foundation (WF), to make Government of Ghana data available to the public for re-use.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like the portal has been updated in a while, seemingly abandoned.
Another government initiative is the E-Service portal where citizens are supposed to be performing actions such as driver license registration and passport applications.
Having an online directory have Ghanaian businesses is a good initiative and could have local businesses get exposure but the question is whether this new initiative will bear any fruit or if it will just become another government e-project casualty.
We’ll have to wait and see.