President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo says his government has ensured discipline in the management of Ghana’s finances in the last 23 months.
He said his government is working to ensure that even at the end of the current IMF programme, “we will organize our public finances in such a way that we will never have to go back under an IMF programme.”
Addressing a joint Ghana Investment Promotion Centre/Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Summit in Tokyo Wednesday, Nana Akufo-Addo said his administration will not rest in maintaining fiscal discipline.
“We believe that it is possible for us…We will maintain the discipline,” he assured.
To achieve this, he said parliament will pass a fiscal rule law which will ensure that the government does not “exceed a deficit of 5 per cent every year”.
The law, he said, will establish institutions that will monitor and advise the president how to maintain compliance with the deficit rule.
These, the President explained, are being done to “attract investment into our country, and this is the reason why we are very determined to renew the relations that we have with Japan.”
Nana Akufo-Addo indicated his administration has since January 2017 to date strengthened the Ghanaian macroeconomy.
“I believe the decisions we took initially have paid off. We saw, for the first year, a turnaround in the growth of the economy. A 3.6% growth (in 2016) ended up with an 8.5% growth (in 2017). We are projecting that, this year, we will be somewhere around 7.9% rate of growth, and the same projection is being made for next year as well”, he said.
He continued: “We brought the deficit down initially to 5.9% (in 2017), it will be 4.9% this year, and with the projection that, next year, it will be 4.5%.”
With Parliament set to pass a fiscal rule, which will ensure that no government exceeds a deficit of 5% every year”, the President
Japan’s model of development, he said, is the most appropriate model of development for Ghana, as it requires significant investment in education, the development of the country’s human resources and infrastructure, and the growth of the industrial and agricultural sectors.
Agriculture, through the programme for ‘Planting for Food and Jobs”, Nana Akufo-Addo said, is beginning to witness a significant revival, evident in the 8.4% growth rate recorded in the sector in 2017.
“We are witnessing, for the first time, significant production of the staples in the country. Ghana has begun, again, to be an exporter of foodstuffs, which was inconceivable and unheard of two or three years ago. Agriculture also as a link for the industrialization of our country is extremely important,” he added.
Reiterating the importance of having a very clear programme for industrial development in Ghana, the President stated that raw material producing and exporting countries cannot fit the purposes of the 21st century.
“It requires therefore that we take the measures that will reform and restructure the Ghanaian economy in such a way as to make industrial activity and the making of things a central part of our economy. So those are economic policies that we are putting in place and opening up the country for more and more investments,” he added.
The president told the Japanese that Ghana is one of the most performing democracies on the African continent.
“In the last 25 years, we have had strong stability in the State; we have had three changes of governments at the ballot box which has not shaken the foundations of the Ghanaian state, the last is what brought me to office in 2016; the multiparty democratic system has become well-entrenched in our country, and our people are comfortable with operating a system of rule of law and the principles of democratic accountability,” he added.
This, the he noted, “means that Japanese businesses in Ghana can have the security of operating in a climate of the rule of law, the rule of law worded on a system of separation of powers.”
He indicated further that the judiciary in Ghana has a good reputation, is independent, is a good arbiter for business people, adding that there is no necessary bias within the judicial system of Ghana against foreign businesses.