President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has observed that Ghana’s economy is rebounding faster from the ravages of COVID-19 than projected, following a slow rate of growth in 2020.

Speaking at the maiden edition of the Presidential Business Support Summit at the Kempinski Hotel in Accra yesterday, the President noted that the support offered by the private sector, coupled with effective management of the COVID-19 crisis by Government, have seen the Ghanaian economy outperforming her peers, and rebounding faster than envisioned.

“After recording negative growth in the second and third quarters of 2020, the economy recovered strongly in the fourth quarter of the year, and well into the first and second quarters of 2021, registering an impressive growth rate of 3.1% in the first quarter of this year, and 8.9% in the second quarter,” he pointed out.

Accordingly, President Akufo-Addo has given assurance that his administration will deepen engagement with the private sector to ensure the local economy remains strong in the global competitive market.

He indicated that these consultative engagements with the private sector through the summit, have been convened as part of the Government’s Public Private Dialogue (PPD) framework, to help improve the business environment in the country.

Government, he explained, fully recognizes that it is the resilience and ingenuity of the private sector that can guarantee economic growth, create substantial job opportunities for Ghanaian youth, and strengthen the country’s position as an economic powerhouse in West Africa.

“Consequently, I have directed Ministers and relevant heads of state institutions to participate actively and fully in this important Summit, and ensure that there is constructive dialogue between Government and the private sector towards realising our vision of a Ghana Beyond Aid,” he said.

Strong FDIs

Ghana, President Akufo-Addo reiterated, is at the moment witnessing a single digit inflation and also strong reserve in Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs).

These, according to him, are signs that the economy is bouncing back following the negative impact of COVID-19 pandemic on economies across the world.

“The strong rebound in growth, low inflation rates, the stable currency, the strong reserve position, and FDI flows are clear indicators of our collective desire to restore the Ghanaian economy onto a path of sustained stability and growth.

“We will continue to strengthen and deepen our engagement with the private sector towards realizing this goal”, President Akufo-Addo added.

In the area of FDIs, the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) had also announced that in last year, Ghana saw a surge in FDI inflows, recording an impressive 2.6 billion dollars’ worth of inbound investments for the year.

The trend defied the anticipated steep decline in FDI flows as a second wave of COVID 19 infections threatened to cripple the Ghanaian economy.

A report by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development placed the pandemic-induced decline in global FDI at 42 percent.

The fall was however highly uneven across developing regions: -37% in Latin America and the Caribbean, -18% in Africa and -4% in developing countries in Asia.

Participants at the Presidential Business Support Summit at the Kempinski Hotel in Accra yesterday

While Ghana had initially witnessed a plateau in FDI inflows during the first wave of infection and its ensuing lockdowns, investments well along saw a rebound on the back of government policy responses to mitigate the impact of the health pandemic on businesses.

Total investment inflows thus peaked to US$2,796.49 million in 2020, with a total FDI value of US$2,650.97 million for Ghana. 

The FDI value of US$2,650.97 million illustrates a significant increase of 139.06% over the FDI value of US$1,108.93 million recorded in 2019.

With the considerable inflow of investments, some 279 projects were registered within the year.

This comprised 129 newly registered projects, 131 upstream developments and 19 free zones activities -dispersed across eight regions, with Greater Accra registering the highest number of 231 projects. Cumulatively, some 27,110 jobs are expected to be generated from the aforementioned registered projects.

For the year under review, some countries that stood out as the nation’s leading sources of inward investments included, China, the United Kingdom, South Africa, Australia and the Netherlands.

Low inflation

The Government Statistician Professor Samuel Kobina Annim had earlier announced that the Year-on-year inflation rate for August stood at 9.7 per cent compared to 9.0 per cent in July.

The month-on month inflation between July, 2021 and August, 2021 was 0.3 per cent.

Speaking at a news briefing in Accra, Professor Annim indicated that alcoholic beverages were the dominant drivers for the higher rate of inflation in August 2021.

He said food contributed more than half to overall inflation, when combined with housing more than two-thirds, and further including transport more than four-fifths.

Prudent policies 

President Akufo-Addo told the summit that, since 2017, Government has implemented policies and programmes that led to consistent economic growth averaging 7%, making Ghana one of the world’s fastest growing economies.

Ghana, he stressed, has become the leading recipient of FDI in West Africa, and one of the most attractive investment destinations on the continent of Africa.

However, following the onset of COVID-19, which disrupted the global economic order, President Akufo-Add bemoaned stated that the pandemic eroded the significant gains made by the Government in the management of the economy.

“That notwithstanding, we were one of the few economies in the world to have recorded positive growth, as the global economy went into recession. We have taken bold measures necessary to stem the risk of a recession, mitigate the negative economic impact of the pandemic, and significantly reduce its burden on our population,” he said.

Transforming Ghana’s economy

Re-echoing Government’s commitment to the structural transformation of the Ghanaian economy, he indicated that, since 2017, Government has launched a comprehensive and ambitious programme for industrialization, based on the Ten Point Industrial Transformation Plan, the implementation of which is being coordinated by the Ministry of Trade and Industry.

“This Plan, amongst others, includes the One District One Factory (1D1F) initiative, the new Strategic Anchor Industries programme, designed to diversify our economy beyond cocoa and gold, the development of industrial parks and special economic zones, the development of small and medium-scale enterprises (SMEs), and the establishment of Business Resource Centres (BRCs) and Technology Solution Centres (TSCs) in various parts of the country,” he said.