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Ghana’s democracy, market economy perform strongly on 2012 Bertelsmann Stiftung’s Transformation Index

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Ghana performed well and strong with all indicators in terms of the economy and democracy on the 2012 Bertelsmann Stiftung’s Transformation Index (BTI) released March 23, 2012.

The BTI released by German-based Bertelsmann Stiftung’s Foundation, is a global assessment of transition processes in which the states of democracy and market economy as well as the quality of political management in countries are evaluated.

The BTI’s analysis assumes the goal of a consolidated market-based democracy. It analyzes the status of both democratization and market liberalization as it evaluates reformers’ actions, decisions and management within a particular setting. The quantitative data collected for the BTI is outlined in two parallel indices: the Status Index and the Management Index.

The country was ranked among 128 countries worldwide. Ghana was ranked 22nd on the status index with a score of 7.39 out of 10.

The country’s political transformation scored a mark of 8.25 placing 19th globally, the index showed. Economic transformation had a score of 6.54 with at the 39th position.

The management index saw Ghana placing 13th with 6.79 score.

The index, also used as one of the data for the Mo Ibrahim Index, used indicators from the World Bank’s World Development Indicators 2011 and the UNDP 2011 Human Development Report.

According to the BTI, Ghana enjoyed both political stability and economic growth in the period under review, despite some conflicts within various political parties and the impact of the global recession of 2009.

“Although considered to have a state-centered approach towards economic policy, the new administration of President John Atta Mills has proven to be even-handed and has not succumbed to increased pressure, especially from its own supporters, to follow a more expansive course of expenditure,” an Executiive Summary of the index on Ghana said.

Politically, it noted, the year 2010 was dominated by the opposition New Patriotic Party’s (NPP) search for a new presidential candidate for the 2012 elections. “Nana Akuffo-Addo, the runner-up in 2008, was eventually re-elected as NPP candidate for the upcoming elections, in which he might challenge the incumbent. Efforts to unite the fragmented “Nkrumah” tradition into a strong “third party” have not yet produced any tangible results,” it added.

On the economic front, the BTI said the growth rate of Ghana has been considerable despite the world-wide recession, thanks to persistently high prices for the country’s major commodities – cocoa and gold – and steady support from international and bilateral donors.

“Inflation has been reduced to a single-digit number, which has been hailed as a success for the crisis-ridden national currency. On the negative side, the national debt increased rapidly when the government took over the debt owned by state-run companies in order to reform the banking and energy sectors,” it observed.

At the beginning of 2009, the new administration inherited one of the highest budget deficits in Ghanaian history. As a result, the oil windfall which began in 2011 will not immediately yield any significant “oil-dividend”, as the cost of restructuring and debt-servicing will remain considerable for the foreseeable future, the summary indicated.

By Ekow Quandzie

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