Ghana's economy in distress since 2017 - Economist reveals

"The economy has been hanging, and it's been hanging for the past four years," a Senior Lecturer of the Department of Finance at the University of Ghana Business School, Dr. Lord Mensah has said.

Ken Ofori-Atta

According to him, the Ghanaian economy has for the past four years, been at the macro level, a situation that has led to the inability of the people to feel the growth in their pockets.

His reactions come after the Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori Atta addressed Ghanaians on the state of the economy following the new trend going viral on social media, #FixTheCountry.

Ofori Atta said: "I acknowledge that these are challenging times for many of us, and we, like almost all the countries in the world, are living through rough weather. A time that has put a burden on the necessities of lives and livelihoods never like before in recent history. Unfortunately, these external shocks have heightened Ghana's perennial problems, which we are committed to addressing."

"In extraordinary times, you should expect exceptional leadership from your Government. I truly believe we cannot ensure exceptional leadership without a collective effort. So, I commend the youth for calling on Government and leaders to be at their best. This shows the patriotism of the Ghanaian youth, echoing the President’s call to Be a Citizen, Not a Spectator. You have elected us to solve the problems that face this country. We will continue to work with you and other stakeholders to do just that."


He also listed a number of initiatives put out by the government to fix the economy.

He said: "First, I am working with the Minister for Water and Sanitation to immediately ensure potable water to areas with felt need, especially in the most urban areas.

"Second, I am working with the Ministers of Roads and Highways, Transport and Interior to address congestion along the major highways.

"Third, we are fast-tracking the implementation of the US$200million Jobs and Skills Programme to enhance job creation significantly. This intervention is designed to facilitate new and expanded private sector businesses to employ a lot more people. This we believe is a more sustainable way to rebuild this economy instead of expanding Government employment schemes.

"Fourth, starting this month, we are rolling over 8 additional interventions under the GhanaCARES ‘Obataanpa’ programme. These will be in the Health, Agriculture, Tourism, Trade, Digitization, Science and technology, Housing and financial services."


"Fifth, by the end of July, we will have a new Development Bank that will provide long-term wholesale financing to the private sector through Commercial banks."

He added: "The good people of Ghana have given us the mandate to get things done. For us as a Government, this is a clarion call for a national conversation on the shared burden to renew the social contract of our democracy. At its minimum, we should ensure social justice and social mobility for most Ghanaians. At our best, we should open for all Ghanaians, an economic system under which each citizen shall be guaranteed the opportunity to show the best in him or her. As I always have, I will commit to working to fix those structures that will set Ghana on this path."

But Dr. Lord Mensah disagreed and said Ghana's economy has been in distress since 2017.

Speaking on Accra-based Starr FM, he said the government must also restructure its policies and put in place policies that will engage the private sector to help revive the economy.

"The economy has been hanging, and it's been hanging for the past four years. And it has to do at the macro level. For now, what is going to happen is that government needs to restructure its policies and the policies should engage the private sector...the Government must reduce its appetite for borrowing from the local market.


"In a situation where we've borrowed so much and you can’t see infrastructure to go with it, then it becomes a cause to worry. There's no lender who'll give you money for consumption so if we don't see infrastructure to go with the monies borrowed, then it’s been used for something else," Dr. Mensah stated.



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