Sustainable infrastructure development in the medium- and long-term remains one of the major considerations which attract foreign investors and foreign direct investment (FDI) to economies across the globe.
It assures sustainable poverty reduction
and propels economic growth in developing and emerging economies, including
This provides a succinct justification for the Government of Ghana’s resolve to invest massively in roads and other infrastructure across the length and breadth of the country.
In 2019, the President Nana Addo Dankwa
Akufo-Addo-led government through the Minister for Finance, Hon. Ken
Ofori-Atta, pledged to invest US$2.5 billion in integrated infrastructure development.
The initiative which has extended to the current year is intended to derive a stronger economy by ensuring equitable distribution of infrastructure development across the country; create direct and indirect jobs; and to create opportunities for individual and corporate wealth and prosperity.
The investment seeks to position Ghana as
the logistics, transportation and energy hub in the West African Sub-region.
However, the country’s projected
expenditure for infrastructure in 2019 was GH¢73.4 billion.
This was equivalent to 21.3% of gross domestic
product (GDP) in that year, and an increase of about 27% above the projected
outturn for the previous year.
To facilitate the execution of her
intended infrastructure development programmes throughout the country, the President
Nana Akufo-Addo-led administration considered strongly private sector participation
in the investment process.
Fortunately, the administration has
concluded some public-private partnership (PPP) arrangements with Syno-Hydro of
China to undertake joint development projects across the country.
Some of these projects include upgrading
of water or sea transportation systems, expansion of existing airports,
rehabilitation of railroads, and construction of roads and highways, among
The Tema and Takoradi Ports are being
upgraded to effectively meet the growing levels of international traffic.
Planned expansion at the Kumasi airport,
measures put in place to rehabilitate defunct railway networks, and President Nana
Akufo-Addo’s declaration of 2020 as the year of roads affirm the
administration’s preparedness to improve considerably on the country’s existing
The current administration is seeking
private partnership to assure extensive development in Ghana’s rail network, so
it could handle up to 60% of both liquid and solid bulk cargo haulage between
the ports and interior parts of the country; and between the ports and
neighbouring landlocked countries while replacing worn-out rolling stock, and
taking steps to improve speed and axle load capacity.
The foregoing could be described as a
top-bottom development approach to Ghana’s infrastructure development efforts.
That is, the emphasis is on
infrastructural development at the national through regional levels, though the
projects may be traced to some localities in the country.
Challenges to adequate provision of
infrastructure in recent and prior years have been attributed largely to
non-availability of sufficient funds and other resources.
However, the investment of a whopping
US$2.5 billion in infrastructure development by President Nana Akufo-Addo’s
government is expected to stem the tide; and position Ghana firmly on the
infrastructural development trajectory.
Ghana’s respective GDP growth rates from
2017 through 2019 were 8.1%, 6.8% and about 7%.
Indeed, the impressive growth rates recorded
in the preceding three years of President Nana Akufo-Addo’s administration could
be attributed largely to sound and strong macro-economic policies and measures
coupled with massive investment in road and other infrastructure.
The latter is a strategic way of ensuring
economic expansion while attracting local and foreign investors to remote parts
of the country; and creating direct and indirect jobs for the active labour
By Ebenezer M. Ashley (PhD)
Fellow Chartered Economist & CEO of EBEN Consultancy
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