Ghana – A middle income country with low income characteristics
Professor Stephen Adei, former Rector of Ghana Institute of Management Studies has noted that Ghana is a middle income country with low income characteristic.
He said the nation has an inflation of 10 per cent, fiscal deficit of 12 per cent, external debt of 12 per cent of gross domestic product, international reserve of less than three months import cover, interest rates of more than 30 per cent, roads, railways and ports of third world levels; power, water and sanitation of a lower income country with serious deficit in housing, education and health.
Prof Adei made the observation at the Ghanaman inaugural lecture in Accra on Wednesday, organised by the African Centre for Development and Integrity on the theme: “56 years on is the Ghanaian really capable of managing his/her own affairs?”
He said economically, Ghana is a middle income country with GDP per capita of around $1,600, and increasing in real term that is not higher than the level it was in 1957 of about $400.
He noted that if Ghana had sustained income per head growth of five per cent per annum in dollar terms, our nominal GDP today should be around $6,000.00 per head.
“Our life expectancy is of a third world country at 58 years; in terms of national global competitiveness the economy we rank a low of 114 among 142 countries in the Global Competitiveness Report because we have problems with financing, corruption, infrastructure, bureaucracy, restrictive labour regulation, inefficient public service, inadequate educated workforce and economic policy instability and unemployment is a serious challenge,” he said.
Prof Adei said having come of the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries initiative recently; because our debt GDP ratio was 100 per cent even on our rebased GDP (enlarged size of the denominator) Ghana’s debt has risen sharply to more than 47 per cent of GDP as at the end of 2012.
“When we take one area we have made some progress that is poverty reduction in the past two decades, the Ghana Living Standard Survey 5 shows that overall poverty remains high with urban poverty on the rise while chronic poverty persists.
“In fact the greatest measure of our performance in the 56 years is that we will not meet half of the Millennium Development Goal by 2015,” he stated.