Economic Performance: Some Indicators
• Much work has to be done in all sectors of the economy to establish a
strong base for rapid growth
The economic performance of every country, whether sound or unsound, depends on a number of factors which may indicate whether the economy concerned is resilient or fragile.
An economy may be very strong or resilient and will be able to withstand unfavourable pressures from external sources. In the same way, a very weak economy may not be able to withstand pressures from unfavourable external conditions.
Similarly, an economy with an average performance may be able to withstand some shocks coming from both internal and external sources but at the same time, able to lay a strong foundation that can stimulate growth in the economy in the coming years. Such an economy may not be described as very resilient but will be seen as strong enough to generate adequate growth and on the average show that the economy is not weak after all.
Various descriptions have been given to the economy of Ghana. While some so called economists have described Ghana’s economy as weak, others, on the contrary, see it as strong or above average and can perform better going forward into the future.
Is the economy of Ghana weak or resilient, taking everything into consideration? When we speak of taking everything into consideration, we are referring to its industrial base, the agricultural sector, transportation, education system and the nature of other sectors that can influence economic performance.
Any objective mind that looks at the economy of Ghana will agree that for now, the economy is not strong enough to withstand external pressures such as the effect of the Russia-Ukraine war as well as the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. In spite of this the economy of Ghana cannot be described as weak.
This is because a good foundation has been laid for the economy despite the numerous challenges the country faces. It is these challenges that have led to inflation and the depreciation of the Cedi a few months back.
If for nothing at all, the implementation of 1 District 1 Factory in line with government’s industrialisation agenda is meant to lay some strong foundation for the country. The problem is that the effect of this programme cannot be felt immediately but, rather, in the future. If people look at the future and conclude that conditions are not good, they will be making a miserable mistake. Thus, in this sense, a strong foundation has been laid for the country and this will bring in the needed positive result in the near future.
Another strong foundation that has been laid for the country by the Akufo-Addo led government can be found in the health sector. We believe that Ghanaians have not forgotten about the numerous drones that have been brought into the country to help in the distribution of medicines to remote places in the country.
Until the drones were brought, areas that were far away suffered from numerous deaths due to lack of essential drugs to fight against snake bites and also absence of blood needed by certain patients at very critical points in their lives. The drones have been brought in for a good purpose and they are playing a positive role in the health sector.
As if this is not enough, efforts are also being made to ensure that there are enough hospitals in all parts of the country, whether urban or rural and whether at the regional level or at the district level. Again, 307 ambulances have been brought in to strengthen the health sector and save precious lives that could easily have been lost if such ambulances were not available.
As we speak today, every constituency in this country has at least one ambulance while at certain regional places, the ambulances available are not less than three or four. This shows that under such conditions, the health sector has been made stronger than before and going into the future, things will be very comfortable compared with previous times.
One other factor that cannot be overlooked is the introduction of Free Senior High School as well as Free Technical Vocational Education and Training for students in our second cycle institutions. Students are not just going in for the general type of education as was seen previously but also technical and vocational training which will help to build a strong technical labour force to meet the needs of the country.
When the labour force is made varied in this way, it means that the technical and vocational needs or otherwise can be met at any point in time. This is what will lead to strong growth in the coming years.
A strong foundation has also been laid for the agricultural sector. The implementation of programmes such as Planting for Food and Jobs and also for export has made things favourable to the country as far as food security is concerned.
Under the COVID pandemic, people in this country were easily fed because food was available compared with other countries that had to beg other nations to get food to meet the needs of their people. This is another indication showing that as a country, Ghana has done well in this direction.
To be able to facilitate rapid economic growth, there is the need to build a sound transportation system to help in the movement of goods and services and people across the length and breadth of the country. Under the agenda of “Year of Roads”, massive infrastructure in form of roads have been put up in areas of the country more than any other government has been able to do in this country.
However, we still need to do more in this sector and this calls for the building and rehabilitation of roads in the food growing areas. When this is done, food items can easily be transported from the food producing areas to the food consuming centres.
All in all much work has been done in all sectors of the economy to establish a strong base for rapid growth in the country. Economic development is a process that takes time and ought to be carried out in a consistent manner to establish a bright future for the economy. This is what is being done so the fundamentals of the economy have been set right.
When the Vice President, Dr. Bawumia, made the point that “if the fundamentals are weak, the weaknesses will be easily exposed”, he was quoted out of context and unfairly attacked by his political opponents who see nothing good about what the government is doing. Now that these fundamentals are being built and strengthened for our future lives, we need to commend the Vice President as well as the President himself and the entire government for a good work done.
Seeing in this light, therefore, a good foundation has been laid for the country compared to the previous shaky government that was in existence previously for which reason the Vice President made that statement.
Today, government has decided to cut down on imports by 40 per cent with effect from this year and it is believed that this will continue until the imports are reduced to an insignificant percentage to make the economy of the country very strong.
With the laying down of a strong foundation it will be wrong to say the fundamentals are weak as was seen in previous times and that as we go into the future, rapid economic growth will be attained to make life far better. It is in light of this that every citizen in the country ought to play his/her part in order to help move the country forward and make economic life better for all.
By Dr. Kofi Amponsah-Bediako
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