President Nana Akufo-Addo has said the work being undertaken by his government, over the course of his first year in office, is leading to the building of a resilient and robust economy, which will take Ghana to a situation beyond aid.
According to President Akufo-Addo, he won the elections of 2016 because the Ghanaian people were dissatisfied with their living conditions and the direction in which Ghana’s economy, and, indeed, the country was headed.
His government’s programme of economic transformation, therefore, is hinged on restructuring the institutions of governance, modernising the country’s agriculture to enhance its productivity, a clear industrial policy, and rationalising the financial sector so that it supports growth in agriculture, and growth in manufacturing and industry.
“To this end, and over the past 13 months, the period of stay of my government in office, we have begun to work on the fundamentals of the economy, because we believe that an improved macro-economy is a basic requirement for stimulating the investments we need for the rapid expansion and growth of the Ghanaian economy, and the generation of wealth and jobs,” he said.
This, he said, has led to the growing strength of the economy, from a growth rate of 3.6% in 2016 to 7.9% in 2017; the stabilisation of our currency, the cedi; reduction in inflation from 15.6% at the end of 2016 to its current level of 10.3%; a revival of Ghanaian industry, from a growth rate of -0.5% in 2016 to 17.7% in 2017; reduction in interest rates, and the fiscal deficit from 9.3% to 5.6% of GDP; and the abolition of nuisance taxes, with the aim of shifting the focus of the Ghanaian economy from an emphasis on taxation to an emphasis on production.
“We are also putting in place strong measures to increase revenue mobilisation, by plugging leaks and reforming the existing tax exemption regime,” he added.
President Akufo-Addo made this known when he delivered the keynote address at the National Governors Association 2018 Winter Meeting, in Washington DC, United States of America, on Sunday, 25th February, 2018.
Addressing the gathering, he stated that the process of economic and industrial transformation in Ghana is going along with ensuring that the most basic elements of social justice are met.
“We have begun to make quality basic education, i.e. education from kindergarten through to secondary school, accessible to all of Ghana’s children. Through my government’s policy of free secondary education in our public schools launched in September 2017, at the beginning of this academic year, 90,000 more children gained access to senior high school in 2017, than they did the year before,” he said.
Equally, accessible healthcare to all of Ghana’s citizens, through an efficient and financially self-sustaining National Health Insurance Scheme, he stressed, is a crucial goal of my government.
“We do all this to promote a culture of incentives and opportunity, to unleash the considerable ingenuity, creativity and entrepreneurial talents of our people, especially of our youth,” he said.
This, he was confident, is the surest path to national prosperity, bolstered by an enhancement of public accountability.
“Last Friday, before my departure for this visit, I appointed the first Special Prosecutor in our history, a known, respected anti-corruption crusader, whose task will be to deal, exclusively, with issues of corruption, and hold public officials, past and present, accountable for their stewardship of our nation’s public finances,” President Akufo-Addo added.