THE President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has emphasized his government’s commitment to prudently manage the Ghanaian economy and to ensure that it does not slip back into the economic mess that was bequeathed to him by the previous administration.
“My Government continues to demonstrate its commitment and determination to ensuring that the habits and sins of past managers of our public finances are no longer visited on this or future generations”, the President said.
Speaking at the 8th edition Ghana Economic Forum organised in Accra on Monday, the President said his administration has over the past three years in office been preoccupied with implementing policies that has since set the country on a path of prosperity and to the realisation of the broader vision of a Ghana Beyond Aid.
The President noted that that Since 2017, the Ghanaian economy has been growing consistently above 7%, and, in the last two years, has been amongst the world’s fastest growing economies.
“Indeed, the IMF projects Ghana’s economy, this year, to have one of the world’s highest growth rates of 7.6%. Inflation for September stood at 7.6%, in single digits, the lowest in over two decades. Our exports are growing healthily; our trade balance account, for the first time in more than a decade, recorded a surplus in 2017, maintained it in 2018, and we expect to maintain the surplus for this year as well. We have brought the fiscal deficit down to 4.5%. Our external reserves, as at June 2019, stood at 4.3 months of import cover.”
The President added that due to the prudent economic policy interventions instituted by his administration, the country’s macroeconomic indices are pointing in the right direction, “and it comes as no surprise, therefore, that, today, Ghana is the leading recipient of foreign direct investment in West Africa”.
Furthermore, the President said the policy interventions and prudent management of the resources have helped his government to finance his Government’s flagship policies and programmes such as the Free Senior High School, which is currently enrolling some 1.2 million pupils; the programme for “Planting for Food and Jobs”; which has led to the revival of Ghanaian agriculture, bringing in its wake a bumper harvest in 2018 and exports of significant quantities of food stuffs to Ghana’s neighbours, with the same expected for 2019.
The President cited the 1-District-1-Factory initiative; the 1-Village-1-Dam policy; the restoration of allowances of nursing and teacher trainees, that were scrapped by the Mahama government; the employment of one hundred thousand (100,000) graduates under the Nation Builders Corp; and the recruitment of sixty thousand (60,000) young men and women under the Youth in Afforestation Programme as examples of some of the policies that have been implemented since he assumed office.
The president said, the gains made in in achieving financial and economic stability should serve as the foundations for the private sector to build on.
“The actual building will have to be constructed by the private sector, because my Government believes in the primacy of the private sector, and we will continue to improve the business environment, and offer the critical support needed for the private sector to survive and thrive”.
Dr Ernest Addison, Governor, Bank of Ghana in his remarks said the Central bank remains committed to the broader framework for a sustained stabilised fiscal regime and public expenditure management.
Adding that the policy initiatives and their implementation has since been yielding the right results.
Chief Executive Officer, of the Business and Financial Times, Dr Edith Dankwa who spoke at the forum, emphasised the role of the media providing the platform for critical minds to deliberate on measures that would help transform the Ghanaian economy.
She said although the fundamentals of the Ghanaian economy has been tested by both internal and external factors in the past, it has remained resilient and thus the need to make the necessary sacrifices to ensure that the fundamentals are sustained.
Managing Director of Barclays Bank Ms Abena Osei-Poku commended government for creating the forum for private sector engagements on moving the country forward.
She said the Forum coming at a time of The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), gives the country the leverage to harness the potentials therein for the rapid development of the continent at large.
She added that steps taken by the Central Bank to clean the banking sector, has helped strengthened the financial sector to engineer the needed growth.