Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia has touted the economic achievements of the government over the past three years, saying, they have restored the health of the troubled economy they inherited.
He said the prudent macro and micro-economic policies and innovative programmes implemented had put the economy on the path of real growth.
“The data shows that Ghana’s macro-economic fundamentals are strong,” adding that, this was confirmed recently by Moody’s Ratings, which changed Ghana’s sovereign ratings from ‘B3’ with a stable outlook to ‘B3’ with a positive outlook.
“This is unprecedented for an election year. Standards and Poors also upgraded Ghana’s sovereign credit rating from B- to B with a stable outlook last year. This was the first upgrade by S&P for Ghana in 10 years.”
Addressing a Town Meeting and Results Fair in Kumasi, the Vice President, said: “This is a strong affirmation of the positive assessment by the international financial markets of Ghana’s economic fundamentals.”
It brought together top government officials, national officers of the ruling party, chiefs, religious leaders, civil society organisations, youth groups, students and the public.
The Vice President also made reference to the recently over-subscribed Eurobond sale and it passed as the longest Eurobond ever issued by any sub-Saharan African country.
The seven-year bond sale attracted the lowest coupon rates ever for Ghana at 6.375 per cent, compared with 9.25 per cent for a similar sale in 2016.
That, he noted, was a clear demonstration of the “massive confidence in the Ghanaian economy by investors”.
For the first time in a decade, Ghana recorded primary balance surpluses, with tax revenues exceeding all government spending, excluding debt service payments for three years in a row.
Inflation has also dropped steadily from 15.4 per cent at the end of 2016 to 7.9 per cent at the end of December 2019 – the lowest since 1992.
The trade balance, showing the difference between what the nation exports and imports, recorded a surplus in 2017, a larger surplus in 2018, and an even larger surplus in 2019, he added.
Vice President Bawumia touched on the performance of the local currency – the cedi, and said; the exchange rate under the Akufo-Addo administration was twice as stable compared with that of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), from 2013 to 2016.
The average depreciation of the cedi under the NDC administration was 18 per cent as against the NPP’s 8.7 per cent.
He pointed out that the current average annual rate of depreciation of the cedi against the US dollar has since 2017 to date, remained at 8.73 per cent – the best to be recorded by any first term government in the Fourth Republic.
That makes the cedi one of the best performing currencies globally, something he said had been achieved through prudent management of the economy and fiscal discipline.
The Vice President told the gathering that despite the massive tax reductions to lessen the burden on the people, revenue collection had gone up by 25 per cent annually, since 2017.
He underlined the government’s determination to diversify the economy by shifting from the focus on raw materials to value addition.
This is a key pillar in the government’s ‘Ghana Beyond Aid’ agenda and he said to accomplish it, some vital initiatives, including ‘Planting for Food and Jobs’, ‘One District, One Factory’, ‘One District, One Warehouse’, amongst others were being implemented.
Added to that were plans to develop an integrated bauxite and aluminum industry.
At the same time the iron and steel industry and a national automotive policy are being given serious consideration in order to diversify the economy.
The Town Hall Meeting, organised under the auspices of the Ministry of Information and Ministry of Monitoring and Evaluation, provided the platform for the government to account to the people.