The Economic Governance Platform (EGP) has held a roundtable discussion on Ghana’s Economy for an eight-year period (2012-2020) at Coconut Grove Regency Hotel, Accra.
Programme Coordinator for EGP, Felix Ankrah, noted that the Platform as part of activities on its project – ‘Citizen Action for Public Accountability’ – initiated this research to undertake an assessment of the Ghanaian economy for the eight past years (2012-2020). It had observed that the profile of Ghana’s economy has been changing in the past decade.
Additionally, the incidence of COVID-19 infections has led to a crisis in the global scheme of affairs, and has negatively affected emerging economies. Ghana is no exception.
An assessment of the Ghanaian economy in both past and present governments will help provide an in-depth review of the economy with policy recommendations to avert some of the challenges experienced over the period of 2012-2020, and also provide measures for a resilient economy amid COVID-19.
Mr. Ankrah stated that the assessment is also geared toward providing recommendations for a resilient economy and any shock the Ghanaian economy may encounter in future.
He finally stated that The Economic Governance Platform is fully committed to promoting and ensuring access to information on fiscal, monetary and social development policies in the country. The Platform’s overall focus is ensuring good governance, fiscal transparency, sound public financial management, and citizen engagement in the development process.
Dr. William Godfred Cantah, Economist at the University of Cape Coast Department of Economics, in his presentation on the theme highlighted a number of reasons why the Ghanaian economy is facing issues of job creation, revenue generation among others.
Dr. Cantah also said the National Identification programme should be pursued vigorously in formalising the Ghanaian economy. He also recommended that leadership and policymakers should create a derivative related instrument and market for the agricultural sector, especially for farmers.
Dr. Cantah disclosed that many Ghanaians workers do not pay a pension to the Pension Scheme, adding that it is an area which can generate huge capital for development and resolve other related pressing national challenges. One other area he disclosed that has been neglected is the insurance sector, which hampering growth of the Ghanaian economy.
Touching on the financial sector, Dr. Cantah pointed out it is an area that can support businesses to grow – unlike a bank which cannot give a long-term loan, the financial sector can give over 10-years duration for payment. “So, if your financial market is not developing, then you will have challenges developing new industries in your economy. You will always have to depend on foreign investment,” he added.
Chairman for the roundtable discussion, Vitus Azeem, also catalogued a few areas policymakers should tackle to ensure better living conditions for the Ghanaian people. Employment response to growth has not been impressive. Associated with this weakness is an increasing inequality even – though poverty has been reduced over the last 30-years.
“Today, Ghana is confronted with numerous economic challenges which require urgent policy attention. At the macro-level, slow growth, high inflation, unstable exchange rates, and the rising debt levels have resulted in worsening unemployment, poor living conditions, and the high poverty rate among Ghana’s population,” he disclosed.
The roundtable was well-attended by key stakeholders, including government officials, academics, representatives of civil society organisations, the business community, members of diplomatic corps and the media.