Tough reforms anchored on effective revenue mobilisation will be needed to support Africa’s economic recovery from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the Russian-Ukraine war, Second Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana (BoG), Mrs Elsie AddoAwadzi, has said.
She also said prudent and effective spending as well as measures to promote competitive investments climates would go a long way to help Africa build back better from the pandemic and the Russian-Ukraine war.
Mrs Awadzi stated this during the Money Summit in Accra yesterday, said the International Monetary Fund and the African Development Bank estimated that Africa would require $285 billion and $484 billion respectively from 2021-2025 to address the socio-economic impacts of the pandemic and to support economic recovery.
The Money Summit under the theme “Africa’s Economic Growth: Facilitating Investment, Payments and Settlement Systems,” was organised by the B&FT, an Accra-based newspaper.
An annual programme, it creates a platform to discuss issues of national importance and specifically matters relating to the financial sector to facilitate the development of the country and this year’s forum focused on payment systems and building investor confidence in the Ghanaian economy.
MrsAwadzi who delivered the keynote address said Africa’s economic challenges, had been further compounded by the increasing complexities of the global financial and business environment brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The COVID-19 pandemic led to a sharp contraction of economic activity in the region by 1.9 per cent in 2020. The average inflation rate for the region rose from 8.5 per cent in 2019 to 10.8 per cent in 2020 reflecting a sharp increase in food prices due to the lockdowns,” she said.
The Second Deputy Governor said government spending to protect lives and livelihoods and to prevent a total collapse of the real sector widened overall fiscal balance on average from 4.1 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2019 to 6.9 per cent of GDP in 2020, while the average government debt to GDP ratio in the region also increased from 51.5 per cent in 2019 to 57.8 per cent in 2020.
MrsAwadzi said Africa’s youthful population, improving the business operating climate, increased digitalisation and leveraging technology would help would help leapfrogged the continent’s growth.
In his welcome address, the Chief Executive Officer of B&FT, Dr Godwin Acquaye, said The Money Summit was Ghana’s foremost platform to discuss issues relating to the financial sector of the country.
“This event, in particular, presents a platform to discuss issues on both the Payment Platforms, and how to boost investor confidence in Ghana and Africa at large,” he said.
DrAcquaye explained that The Money Summit was a full-day event, designed to be interactive and engaging for both resource persons and participants, and had been born out of the quest of the B&FT to provide a means through which financial sector policies, developments and future directions were passionately discussed.
He said this year’s programme was focused on payment systems and enhancing investor confidence in the Ghanaian economy to drive economic growth in view of uptake in digital transactions and the COVID-19 which ushered in difficult global financing conditions.
Dr Acquaye indicated that the programme would come out with solutions to address the financial challenges facing the country.