Ghana’s economy was one of the fastest growing in the world before Covid – Akufo-Addo at Dubai Expo

President Nana Addo Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has said at the Dubai Expo on Tuesday March 8 that Ghana’s economy was doing well before the coronavirus pandemic.

He explained that prior to the outbreak of the pandemic Ghana, in 2017, 2018 and 2019, during his first term in office, recorded annual average Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rates of seven per cent.

This, he said, made the local economy one of the fastest growing in the world at the time.

At the height of the pandemic, in 2020, Ghana was one of the few countries to record positive growth, he stressed.

His comments come at a time the World Bank Country Director, Pierre Laporte, has said the economy was struggling before the pandemic.

“Yes, Covid has not helped but even before Covid, there were signs that the situation was getting a little more challenging,” Mr Laporte explained.

But president Akufo-Addo said “We are the new commercial capital of Africa by virtue of our hosting of the Secretariat of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), we are the 2nd largest cocoa producer in the world, we are the largest producer of gold in Africa, we are endowed with considerable deposits of bauxite, iron ore, manganese, lithium, oil and gas, diamonds, and timber, and we are geographically closer than any other country to the centre of the planet.”

He continued, “We are a country where investments are secure and protected under a governance system where an independent judiciary upholds the rule of law and respect for private property rights.”

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Stressing that Ghana is “Ready for Business”, President Akufo-Addo noted that Government is determined to build a business-friendly economy that will enable Ghana get to the stage where the exploitation of the opportunities that are available will help her build an optimistic, self-confident and prosperous nation.

“Indeed, prior to the onset of COVID-19, Ghana, in 2017, 2018 and 2019, that is during my first term in office, recorded annual average GDP growth rates of seven percent (7%), making our economy one of the fastest growing in the world at the time. At the height of the pandemic, in 2020, we were, indeed, one of the few countries to record positive growth,” he said.

Through the one hundred-billion-cedi (GH¢100 billion) economic recovery programme, dubbed the Ghana CARES ‘Obaatampa’ Programme, the economy grew at a provisional 5.2% in the first three quarters of 2021, with a projected growth rate of 5.6% for 2021.

“We appear to be on the path of sustained economic recovery. We still, nevertheless, have some important challenges, but we see these challenges as opportunities which serve as catalysts for growth and the realisation of Government’s transformational agenda. This agenda is hinged, primarily, on creating space for the private sector to thrive, thereby growing the jobs that our young people need,” he added.

President Akufo-Addo stated that policies such as 1-District-1-Factory and the development of strategic anchor industries, such as the emerging automotive industry and the coordinated exploitation of our significant bauxite and iron ore deposits, the agricultural expansion through the programme for Planting for Food and Jobs, targeted infrastructural development, especially of roads and railways, and promoting access to digital technology are serving as the main avenues for job creation.

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“We have been successful at removing some of the constraints of Ghanaian life, that have been sources of frustration in conducting business. As part of the process of formalising the economy, we have, amongst others, implemented a digital property addressing system, issued biometric national identification cards to residents this year, so that every resident will have a unique identification number, and ensured paperless transactions at our ports,” he added.

By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana