By Maxwell Nkansah
According to the President of the Republic of Ghana, His Excellency Nana Akufo Addo, It is encouraging that his government and party, the New Patriotic Party, to note that the rate of growth of the economy, 5.6%, against the background of the exceptionally difficult circumstances of the COVID-era, is still considerably better than the 3.4% we inherited (in 2016) in calmer times from our predecessor administration.
These were the words of the President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, when he delivered the keynote address at the National Labour Conference, held in Kwahu Nkwatia, in the Eastern Region, on Monday 28th February 2022.
According to President Akufo-Addo, Ghanaians “should not forget that, prior to the outbreak of the pandemic, we witnessed average annual GDP growth rates of seven per cent (7%) in 2017, 2018, 2019 and part of 2020, when our economy was then, generally, acknowledged as one of the fastest-growing in the world.”
Speaking at the event, he indicated that the proactive decisions taken by the government to fight the pandemic, as well as revitalising and transforming the economy, with the one hundred-billion-cedi Ghana COVID-19 Alleviation and Revitalization of Enterprises Support (Ghana CARES) ‘Obaatampa’ Programme, to create jobs and prosperity for Ghanaians over a three-year period, have begun yielding results.
The first phase of the Ghana CARES programme, the phase of stabilisation, came to end in 2020.
The second phase, which started in 2021, aims at revitalising and transforming the economy between 2021 and 2023 and is focused on supporting commercial farming and attracting educated youth into agriculture, building Ghana’s light manufacturing sector, developing the engineering/machine tools and ICT/digital economy, developing Ghana’s housing and construction industry, reviewing and optimiSing the implementation of government flagships and key programmes, creating jobs for young people, and expanding opportunities for the vulnerable in society, including physically challenged persons.
“As a result of this programme and the policies being implemented by Government, the economy grew at a provisional 5.2% in the first three quarters of 2021. This growth is expected to be sustained in the medium term,” he said.
President Akufo-Addo continued, “The overall real GDP for the medium term is projected to grow at an average rate of 5.6%, and we remain committed to returning to the fiscal deficit target threshold, as enshrined in the Fiscal Responsibility Act, Act 982, from this year.”
Government, he reassured, will continue to demonstrate the ability, resolve and determination to change the trajectory of our economy in order to help us recover faster from the effects of COVID-19.