President Akufo-Addo has said the economy he inherited from former president John Mahama was in a mess, and had to spend a lot of time fixing it in what appears to be a reply to Mr Mahama’s economic lecture in the U.K.
He made this known on Wednesday, 30th October, 2019, when he addressed the 8th Edition of the Ghana Economic Forum at the Tang Palace, in Accra.
This is after former president John Mahama reminded Akufo-Addo that growth in the economy last year and this year were oil-based and Akufo-Addo has done zero in the oil sector. Mahama boasted that it is his twin investments of TEN and Sankofa oil fields that are driving the growth.
But replying, President Akufo-Addo noted that the macroeconomic situation that his Government inherited, at the beginning of 2017, “was a dire one, evidenced in a GDP growth of 3.6%, a fiscal deficit of 9.3%, inflation at 15.4% percent, a weak external reserves position, and a banking sector weighed down by a plethora of poorly capitalised, and weak and insolvent institutions, with potentially grave consequences for the entire financial system”, he said with alarm.
“Agricultural and industrial activities were down. Unemployment, especially of the youth, was widespread, against a background of low incomes and high prices. This was the distressing state of the economy that awaited us in January 2017, despite an ongoing, three-year IMF Extended Credit Facility arrangement that had been initiated in April 2015 with the previous Mahama government,” the President explained.
President Akufo-Addo noted his work is showing results which is that the economy has been growing consistently above 7%, and, in the last two years, has been amongst the world’s fastest growing economies, with the IMF projecting Ghana’s economy, this year, to have one of the world’s highest growth rates of 7.6%.
This is where Mahama disagrees.
Mahama maintains that it is through his performance that Ghana has been ranked one of the fastest-growing economies in the world currently and not due to the efforts of President Akufo-Addo and his economic management team.
“All that growth, fastest-growing economy in the world, it’s the oil sector and where are those revenues coming from? They are from the TEN field and the Sankofa field that we worked on in our time.”.
A check of the facts revealed Mahama ‘prophesied’ this in 2016.
Inflation et al.
President Akufo-Addo also said he has arrested inflation and straightened all the wrongs he met in office.
“Inflation for September stood at 7.6%, in single digits, the lowest in over two decades. Our exports are growing healthily; our trade balance account, for the first time in more than a decade, recorded a surplus in 2017, maintained it in 2018, and we expect to maintain the surplus for this year as well. We have brought the fiscal deficit down to 4.5%,” he said.
The President continued, “Our external reserves, as at June 2019, stood at 4.3 months of import cover. All our macroeconomic indices are pointing in the right direction, and it comes as no surprise, therefore, that, today, Ghana is the leading recipient of foreign direct investment in West Africa.”
He noted that, at the half-way stage of 2019, according to the Bank of Ghana, the banking sector recorded a profit after tax of GH¢1.67 billion, representing year-on-year growth of 36.3%, compared with 21.7% in the same period last year.