STANDARD AND POOR’S RATING OF GHANA’S ECONOMY CALLS FOR MORE WORK

THE Standard and Poor’s Financial Service Company LLC (S&P), one of the  three credible rating agencies, in a report, upgraded the country to B rating category, up from B-, based on the policy effectiveness and stable economic outlook.

The rating of the economy comes at the time that there is heated public debate about the performance of the economy, especially the depreciation of the cedi against the major foreign currencies. Though the debate is intellectual, the politics of it, make murky and confusing to the ordinary man.

The Minister of Information designate, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah told the media after the release of the report that “We consider it as feedback and affirmation of our submission that the economy of Ghana and its fundamentals are gradually getting better.”

He submitted that the fundamentals are getting better; assuring that the government is committed to pursuing a strong monetary policy environment and continuously improving on the financial sector and fiscal policy.

The Ghanaian Times is convinced that further prudent management of the economy, can push the ratings a notch higher to a category for the economy to expand to enable it address the needs of the people.

In all honesty, times are “hard” especially when there is speculation of marginal increases in the cost of fuel which often triggers increase in basic goods and services, giving rise to public outcry.

Indeed, the economy has been doing well over the years, albeit, some challenges. It has drastically reduced poverty in the country, though we still have some pockets of areas which are less endowed geographically.

As a matter o fact Ghana was the first sub-Saharan African country to have achieved the Millennium Development Goal one in reducing the proportion of people living in extreme hunger and poverty.

We are aware that the overall aim of the government economic development policies, as captured in the Coordinated Programme of Economic and Social Development Policies (2017-2024), is to stablise the economy and stimulate growth to an average of 7.2 and increase, at least, the per capita Gross Domestic Product which was around $1,515.6 in 2016 to projected $3,500 by 2024.

However, there are many areas of the economy that need serious attention. For instance in the coordinated Programme of Economic and Social Development Polices (2017-2024), it was noted that “The composition of Ghana’s merchandise exports has not experienced any transformation over the years. The country continues to export primary commodities such as unprocessed minerals, raw agricultural products, and crude oil, together contributing 86 per cent of the country’s total export.”

It further states: “To build an industrialised, inclusive, and resilient economy, manufacturing must be revived by tackling the core constraints, including a persistently unstable macroeconomic environment, underdeveloped and weak financial markets that put long-term capital beyond the reach of most business operators, relatively weak economic infrastructure and poor public sector service delivery.”

The conclusion we draw is that the management of the economy needs all hands on deck. Governments as expected must give direction in the management of the economy, through the implementation of the appropriate policies.

Beyond that, it behoves us to play our part in contributing to national development by taking our destiny into our own hands: through attitudinal change, believing in ourselves, tone down on cynicism, be proud of the goods and service that we produce, as we grow what we eat and wear what we produce.

That is the way to go to ensure economic prosperity for our country.

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