Economy being revived despite setbacks - Akufo-Addo
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo Monday said Ghana's economy was on the path of recovery and growth, in spite of the difficult economic circumstances inherited from the past administration.
He said the economic policies being promoted by his government was fixing the fundamentals of the economy, which would enable the country to realise the vision of becoming an industrialised nation.
President Akufo-Addo made the disclosure in an address at the ongoing 5th Financial Times Africa Summit, in London, United Kingdom.
He said with some degree of success, his government had “stabilised our currency despite the recent challenges of a stronger dollar, and has reduced significantly inflation from 15.4% we inherited in 2016 to 9.9% today, and, moderately, the cost of borrowing.”
Additionally, a number of tax cuts have brought relief to businesses, and, at the same time, reduced substantially the country’s fiscal deficit, from 9.3% in 2016 to 5.9% in 2017, with a projected 4.5% deficit this year.
“Indeed, the Ghanaian economy, whose growth rate stood at 3.6%, in 2016, the lowest in two decades, grew by 8.5% in 2017, and is expected to grow, in 2018, by 8.3%, which, according to the International Monetary Fund, would make it one of the fastest growing economies in the world this year,” he said.
The President further indicated that the relative success of the implementation of business-friendly policies, coupled with the availability of affordable and reliable power, had ensured industry, whose growth rate stood at negative 0.5% in 2016, grew by 17.7% in 2017, the highest sectoral growth in the economy.
He made known that a number of deliberate interventions to reduce the cost of doing business, reduce the stress associated with setting up businesses, and formalizing the economy had been put in place.
“The e-business registration system, the paperless port clearance system, the digital property addressing system, the mobile interoperability platform, and the issuance of the national identification card, will all help quicken the pace of change to bring us into the technology-driven era, and make our businesses competitive, so that we can attract the requisite investment, foreign and domestic, to spur on our country’s economic transformation,” he said.
President Akufo-Addo told the gathering that the modest successes chalked in reviving the Ghanaian economy and creating a business-friendly environment, had received major boosts with the announcement made by two global car giants, Volkswagen of Germany and Sinotruk of China, of their decision to establish assembly plants in Ghana, with the intention, in the medium term, of producing their vehicles in the country.
“Tech giant, Google, has also decided to base its African Artificial Intelligence Centre in Ghana, which will make it the first in Africa. US global energy giant, ExxonMobil, and the big Norwegian oil and gas company, Aker Energy, have both signed agreements with the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) to undertake deep-water oil and gas exploration and production,” he said.
President Akufo-Addo welcomed the "rapid enhancement of foreign direct investment in our economy", saying the concomitant transfer of technology would enable Ghana to realise its vision of a Ghana Beyond Aid.