Economy on path of recovery – First Deputy Governor

Ghana’s economy is on the path of recovery and has rebounded strongly from the COVID-19 pandemic, the First Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana (BoG), Dr Maxwell Opoku-Afari, has said.

“The overall real GDP growth was 5.4 percent in 2021, higher than the targeted 4.4 percent. Non-oil GDP growth was 6.3 percent. These developments point to a robust economy that is pushing toward its pre-pandemic level, though downside risks remain, including potential outbreak of new variants of the COVID-19 pandemic and further headwinds from the Russia-Ukraine war,” he said.

DrOpoku-Afari, the First Deputy Governor of BoG, said this in a speech read on his behalf by the Director of Research, Dr Philip Abradu-Otoo, at a two-day financial training workshop for journalists on Thursday,

The two-day training which ended last Friday organised by the Journalists for Business Advocacy (JBA) and sponsored by Ecobank GhanaPlcwas on the theme “Accurate Reportage, Key to Financial Stability.”

Topics treated included “Understanding exchange rate policy,” “Interpreting financial statements”, and the “Role of agency banking in promoting financial inclusion.”

DrOpoku-Afari said the BoG expenditure reduction, effective revenue mobilisation measures that would support the fiscal consolidation path and help lift financing constraints, and improving the business operating environment to attract private capital, both foreign direct investment and portfolio investment through rule of law, and protection of property rights, transparency and accountability and political and macroeconomic stability could further boost the economy.

“The Central Banks believe that when these structures are firmly in place and institutions are working to deliver their best then together with sound pursuit of monetary policy actions should help re-anchor inflation expectations, regain macroeconomic stability and restore investor confidence in the economy,” he said.

DrOpoku-Afari said the role of the journalists in building strong economy and financial stability of the country could not be over-emphasised.

He commended JBA for the workshop and Ecobank Ghana for sponsoring it.

The Managing Director of Ecobank Ghana Plc, Mr Dan Sackey, urged financial journalists to go beyond highlighting the performance of banks and touch on the drivers of the performance.

 “We need to touch on the strategic issues that are driving the performance of the banks. The topical issue today is E-Levy and we need to ask ourselves if we have actually educated our public well enough,” he queried.

He said it was important to extend education and media reportage on informal sector businesses which constitute 70 percent of enterprises and contribute 60 to 70 per cent of the country’s productivity.”

The President of JBA, Mr Suleiman Mustapha, said the training was to build the capacity of the participants on how to report generally on financial issues.

He said the training had become necessary due to the shortcoming associated with reporting on economic, business and financial issues by journalists.

“First is the insufficient technical knowledge of some of the issues to be covered which inhibits our ability to report those issues accurately and analyse them properly,” Mr Mustapha said, stressing that “The workshop will enlighten participants as to how best to prepare proper features, analysing facts and data available rather than simply opinionating.”

He commended Ecobank Ghana for sponsoring the workshop and always showing commitment to enhance the quality of financial and economic reportage in Ghana.

BY KINGSLEY ASARE

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