Deteriorated macroeconomic indicators cause Ghana to lose 11 spots in 2013 WEF competitiveness index

ArchGhana fell drastically in rank on the 2013 edition of the Global Competitiveness Report (GCR) index published today September 4, 2013 by the World Economic Forum (WEF) due to the weak nature of the country’s macroeconomic indicators.

The country lost 11 spots to place 114th in the latest index from 103rd it ranked in the 2012 edition.

Ghana had a score of 3.69.

The WEF attributed Ghana’s decline to the deterioration of the country’s macroeconomic indicators.

“Ghana declines this year to 114th in large as a result of a deterioration in its macroeconomic indicators (reversing last year’s trend),” said the Davos-based organization.

It was the stability of the macroeconomic indicators that lifted Ghana up 11 places in the 2012 edition of the index.

Ghana recorded a budget deficit of over 12% in 2012 [election year], overshooting its deficit target by almost 100%. This led to concerns raised by some international institutions such as the International Monetary Fund and the Fitch Rating agency.

But the Ghana government assured that it will put in measures to trim the budget deficit to 9% in 2013 and further down in the subsequent years.

The country was not part of the top ten most competitive countries in sub-Saharan Africa. The 2013 report named in order of highest rankings in the region Mauritius, South Africa, Rwanda, Botswana, Seychelles, Namibia, Zambia, Kenya, Gabon and Senegal.

“In sub-Saharan Africa, Mauritius (45th) overtakes South Africa (53rd) as the region’s most competitive economy,” it said.

With only eight countries in the region featuring in the top 100, the report noted that profound efforts across the board are clearly needed to improve Africa’s competitiveness. Nigeria which ranked 120th was advised to diversify its economy as it continues to be ranked low.

With regards to Ghana’s strengths in the 2013 report, the WEF said the country “seems to be improving its public institutions, which are already somewhat strong by regional standards (up by five places to 70th), with relatively high government efficiency (57th).”

It added some aspects of Ghana’s infrastructure are good for the region, particularly the state of its ports, and its financial and goods markets are also relatively well developed (52nd and 70th, respectively).

On the other hand, the WEF stated that Ghana must do much more to develop and deploy talent in the country.

The Forum also observed that the country’s education continues to trail international standards at all levels and the  labour markets are characterized by inefficiencies.

The country is not sufficiently harnessing new technologies for productivity enhancements (ICT adoption rates continue to be very low), the WEF said.

The 2013 GCR assessed the competitiveness landscape of 148 economies, providing insight into the drivers of their productivity and prosperity.

The report’s index placed Switzerland at the top of the ranking globally for the fifth year running.

Singapore and Finland remained in second and third positions respectively while Germany moved up two places (4th) and the United States reversed a four-year downward trend, climbing two places to fifth.

It said Hong Kong SAR (7th) and Japan (9th) also closed the gap on the most competitive economies, while Sweden (6th), the Netherlands (8th) and the United Kingdom (10th) fell.

Chad was ranked last among the 148 economies with a score of 2.85.

By Ekow Quandzie

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