The Government of Ghana has given a positive outlook of its economic aspirations saying the significant strides made within the last eighteen months was a justification of its workable as well as laudable policy initiatives and programmes.
“With tenacity of purpose, meticulous planning and determination, we have worked assiduously to tackle the fundamental problems facing the economy,” Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, Minister of Finance, told a stakeholders’ forum in Kumasi.
The economy, he said, grew by 8.5 per cent in 2017, up from its ailing growth of 3.7 per cent the previous year, while fiscal deficit reduced from 9.3 per cent to 5.9 per cent within the same period, lower than the programmed target of 6.3 per cent.
Inflation reduced from 15.4 per cent at the end of 2016 to 11.8 per cent as of last year, and reducing further to 9.9 per cent at the end of August, this year.
Mr Ofori-Atta said gross public debt to the gross domestic product ratio reduced from 73.1 per cent at the end of 2016 to 69.8 per cent last year, and interest rates (91-day treasury bills) reducing from 16.4 per cent to 13.3 per cent within the same period.
The forum, organized by the Ministry of Finance (MoF), was to receive inputs from stakeholders prior to the 2019 budget preparation.
This is part of moves by the government to make the budget process more participatory and also promote transparent and accountable governance.
The Association of Ghana Industries (AGI), Ghana Chamber of Commerce and Industry, as well as Association for Small-Scale Industries, traditional authorities, technocrats and businesses were duly represented.
The various Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) also had their representatives.
Mr Ofori-Atta said government was striving to structurally transform the economy, through investment in agriculture and human capital, development of strategic infrastructure and deliberate push towards industrialization.
This was being done with the active private sector involvement to help create jobs and wealth, while improving incomes to enhance the standard of living of the citizenry.
The Finance Minister said the recent assessment of the Ghanaian economy has been scaled up from its ‘B-’ ranking to ‘B’ with a stable outlook.
This means that the country has achieved a credit upgrade for the first time in almost a decade.