President Nana Akufo-Addo has emphasised that the 5.6% Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth in COVID times is much better than the 3.4% under John Mahama’s government in 2016.
Delivering the keynote address yesterday at the National Labour Conference, held in Kwahu Nkwatia, in the Eastern Region, the President said, under the circumstances, his government had performed modestly well.
According to President Akufo-Addo, Ghanaians should not forget that, prior to the outbreak of the pandemic, the country witnessed average annual GDP growth rates of 7% in 2017, 2018, 2019 and part of 2020.
This, he said, was when the country’s economy was, generally, “acknowledged as one of the fastest growing in the world.”
The President indicated that the proactive decisions taken by his government to fight the pandemic, as well as revitalising and transforming the economy, with the one hundred-billion-cedi Ghana COVID-19 Alleviation and Revitalisation of Enterprises Support (Ghana CARES) ‘Obaatampa’ Programme to create jobs and prosperity for Ghanaians over a three-year period, had begun yielding results.
He noted that under the first phase of the Ghana CARES programme, the phase of stabilisation came to end in 2020. He pointed out that the second phase, which started in 2021, aims at revitalising and transforming the economy between 2021 and 2023, and is focused on supporting commercial farming and attracting educated youth into agriculture.
“It will also help in building Ghana’s light manufacturing sector, developing the engineering/machine tools and ICT/digital economy, developing Ghana’s housing and construction industry, reviewing and optimising the implementation of Government flagships and key programmes, creating jobs for young people, and expanding opportunities for the vulnerable in society, including physically challenged persons,” he said.
The President underscored that these programmes and policies grew the economy at a provisional 5.2% in the first three quarters of 2021, saying this growth is expected to be sustained in the medium term.
He added: “The overall real GDP for the medium term is projected to grow at an average rate of 5.6%, and we remain committed to returning to the fiscal deficit target threshold, as enshrined in the Fiscal Responsibility Act, Act 982, from this year.”
Government, he reassured, would continue to demonstrate the ability, resolve and determination to change the trajectory of the economy in order to help the country recover faster from the effects of COVID-19.