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Ghana set for 7.8% robust commodity-driven growth in 2013 – OBG

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oilLondon-based Oxford Business Group (OBG) reports that the level of economic indicators Ghana recorded during the year 2012 are very encouraging on the back of an equally impressive 2011.

At 8.2%, Ghana’s GDP growth in 2012 was one of the highest in the region, the Group said January 23, 2013 giving its review on the country’s economy for 2012.

The strong economic performance came on the back of a year in which the country notched up GDP growth rates of almost 14% in 2011, placing it among the highest in the world.

According to OBG, 2013 appears set for Ghana to continue the trend, with “robust commodity-driven growth of 7.8%.”

OBG explains that with gas infrastructure in place and increased activity in cocoa and gold, revenues should remain fairly strong, although more will need to be done to help ensure the sustainability of Ghana’s development and improve job creation.

The Group highlighted that Ghana in 2012 gave a comparatively strong economic performance, bolstered by stable commodity prices, continued oil production and a sizable capital campaign in both the gas and electricity sectors.

It however noted that “structural weaknesses” will need to be addressed by President John Mahama’s administration if the country is to maintain its upward trajectory.

Exports grew over the course of 2012, dominated by the traditional commodities of gold and cocoa, which together make up almost two-thirds of total revenues. With the oil industry’s contribution now added in, roughly 80% of Ghana’s exports come from raw commodities. Rising imports, buoyed in part by growing domestic consumption, have helped widen the current account deficit.

But OBG said the continued centrality of commodities in Ghana’s growth, however, is a concern for policymakers, particularly as they look to improve the sustainability of development.

It added that the high rate of underdevelopment in more rural northern regions, where poverty rates reach well above 50% in some areas, will require a boost in labour-intensive sectors.

By Ekow Quandzie

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