A Senior Research Associate of the Overseas Development Institute, Professor Tony Killick, has said the low performance of the country’s economy would only be improved if a structure for a comprehensive economic policy was drawn.
He said even though the economy had not performed to expectations,”Ghana is a shining light” in West Africa.
Prof Killick said this at a public lecture on Thursday to launch the Second Edition of his book titled “Development in Action: A Study of Economic Policies in Ghana” at the University of Cape Coast.
He said Ghana’s economic policy over the last 40 years had been unbalanced due to the different political regimes from the 1960’s till date and described it as “fictitious” because budgets drawn never corresponded with spending.
Prof Killick complained about the lack of adequate statistical data on the economy and lack of political will to undertake structural reforms in sectors like the public service which he said was a sector which needs massive reforms.
Parts of the book took a reflection on how the country’s economic policy have manifested in general incomes, inflation, trade and budget with special emphasis on inflation which according to him was experienced annually at one percent.
On the financial sector, he said there had been an improvement in access to banks by rural folks, however, the rate of imbalance between the use of resources and savings was of concern to him.
This, he said, was leading to a high dependence ratio on foreign aid, adding that the country’s poverty trends were still high with two thirds of Ghanaians living below the poverty line.
In response to a question during an open forum on some of the major economic policy defects of the country, Prof Killick said budgetary systems, the ambiguity of the role of private sector and the decline of the manufacturing and industrial sectors were the bane of the country’s economy.
High inflation rates coupled with lack of competition among banks had also resulted in wide spread interest in lending and borrowing rates, he said.